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Borg first in Optimist Class

Aquilina maintains Athens hopes

The Malta Sailing Federation have just held the National Championships, this year sponsored by HSBC.

During a presentations ceremony at the Royal Malta Yacht Club, Malta Sailing Federation president Anton Valentino congratulated the winners and all participants and thanked Minister for Youth and the Arts Jesmond Mugliett and HSBC Head of Marketing and Public Relations Godfrey Swain for their support.

In all, 39 boats were involved in the competition with GSSE gold medallist Benji Borg topping the Optimist Class.

A positive surprise in this category was William Camilleri who has underlined his improvement in recent months by placing third.

In the Laser Radial Class, John Tabone showed no signs of uneasiness as the 44-year-old, who usually competes in the Standard division, placed second behind national champion Simon Aquilina.

Mario Aquilina, who is bidding to earn a spot in next year's Olympics in Athens, topped the Laser Olympic Class ahead of Peter Valentino.

"Our sailors need all the financial support they can get," Mugliett said.

"At the same time, the fact that sponsors like HSBC get the deserved return from their financial agreement with the organisers is something that the Malta Sailing Federation should be proud of.

"More investment in this sport will help to achieve positive results, similar to the ones obtained in June's GSSE."

Swain congratulated all participants and encouraged the federation to keep up the good work.

"This is an organisation that understands how sponsorship deals work. Such co-operation makes future agreements more feasible," Swain said.

Top three in each category:
Optimist Cadet Class - 1. Sean Borg; 2. Gabriel Pace.
Handicap Fleet - 1. Jonathan Sammut/ Kathleen Bowman; 2. Edward Borg/John Degiorgio; 3. Robert Mifsud/Michael Anastasi.
Laser 4.7 Class - 1. Christoph Podesta; 2. Matthew Fleri Soler.

Classes in which a national champion was declared:
Optimist Class: 1. Benji Borg; 2. Simon Psaila; 3. William Camilleri.
Laser Radial: 1. Simon Aquilina; 2. John Tabone; 3. Andrew Selvagi.
Laser Olympic Class: 1. Mario Aquilina 2. Peter Valentino; 3. Per Sahlberg.

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