RC44 Valletta Cup set to leave €1.6m in economy

The local organisers of the RC44 Valletta Cup estimate that the yachting race will leave €1.6 million in the local economy, up from their original estimate of €1.2 million.

Most of the 11 boats taking part in the race, between Wednesday and next Sunday, have been in Malta since December 2014. Some were in storage at Carmelo Caruana Logistics Centre at the Malta Freeport while others were at Palumbo Shipyards for maintenance in preparation for the race.

Last week the boats started to make their way to Pinto Wharf at the Valletta Cruise Port for final touches before they are put into the water.

The Grand Hotel Excelsior is booked out, with over 450 guests involved in the race, which include the crews, their support teams, guests and members of international media.

The local organisers are Yachting Events Ltd, created following a chance meeting between Christian Farrugia, partner at Fenech Farrugia Fiott Legal, and Richard Henry, involved in the insurance of the America’s Cup.

Dr Farrugia roped in Niki Travers Tauss, who has a passion for sailing in addition to running a successful business the maritime industry. He in turn invited Peter Valentino on board, whose experience in the world of sailing, both as a coach and international judge, completed the pool of experts required to organise an event of such magnitude.

The race could have other longer term, economic spin-offs
“There was substantial spending in the run-up to the event through freight and logistics requirements, maintenance jobs carried out in the shipyards, crew and chandlery suppliers,” spokesman for the company Maria Vella Gera said.

“Throughout the event, food and beverage services, event management requirements, on-water operations, vessel charters, as well as technical and diving services will boost the spend.

“The final figure does not include the exposure that Malta, as a sporting and business venue, will be benefitting from. This will come first hand from the leading media crews that will be covering this event on an international level as well as from the crews who have been in Malta for a while,” she said.

The owners of the boats taking part in these international events are often prominent businessmen, which means the race could have other longer term, economic spin-offs.

The RC44 Valletta Cup has already generated interest international media from houses such as Sail World, Scuttlebutt, Isail as well as other media houses in far-flung countries such as Argen­tina, Australia and the US, all of which have already been giving the inaugural race of the 2015 circuit considerable coverage.

“Moreover, the race will return in 2016, so we believe there is potential for these businessmen to return and a long-term relationship or appetite for a vested interest to grow,” she added.

RC44 Championship Tour takes place throughout the year and consists of races held in five of the most prestigious sailing venues around the world, such as Porto Cervo in Italy, Marstrand in Sweden, Cascais in Portugal, and finishing off in Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands.

The championship is a combination of both match and fleet racing and is a one-design racing format. Since its 2007 debut, the RC44 class has held regattas in Europe, US and the Middle East.

The Ministry for Economy, Investment and Small Business is co-hosting the event.

Source: Times of Malta, March 22, 2015 

Photo: RC44 Class/Martinezstudio.es