by Allie Smith
Visit Malta Puma's consistently solid results throughout the 2012 offshore racing season have seen her win the Emily Verger Plate for the best yacht in IRC Class 2 championships. She also finished eleventh in the RORC IRC Overall Points Series (from 283 boats). This is a fantastic achievement, and the herculean efforts of the crew coming second in the gruelling Round Ireland Race in June made all the difference between her and the rest of the class.
Visit Malta Puma
Throughout the 2012 racing season, Skipper James (Chippie) Gair ably assisted by Mate, Leanna Hill, battled hard against a very competitive fleet including ex-RORC Commodore Andrew McIrvine on his First 40 ‘La Reponse’, and the British Army’s Archambaud 40, ‘British Soldier’.
In addition, Visit Malta Puma has for the eighth consecutive year, won the David Fayle Memorial Cup for Best Sailing School Yacht. This trophy was presented to RORC by Maurice Laing in 1972 in memory of Brigadier LRE Fayle, who was then the RORC Rating Secretary. We are immensely proud of this award, as it shows Sailing Logic are the country’s premier Sailing School, and have been since 2005.
Visit Malta Puma have enjoyed a third winning year under the colours and name of the Malta Tourism Authority; Alex Incorvaja, Director of Malta Tourism Authority UK and Ireland comments: 'We are absolutely delighted that our sponsored yacht ‘Visit Malta Puma’ has once again become the best Sailing School Race yacht in the UK and has also won its class in the IRC 2 Championships. We are very proud of these great achievements, and recognise the huge effort the Skipper, Mate and amateur crew have put in to receiving these awards. The Maltese branding on the yacht has become widely recognised throughout the South coast of England and Ireland, where she has been competing and we are very happy to be associated with a winning team'.
Skipper of Visit Malta Puma, James (Chippie) Gair remarks: 'It’s been a tremendously tough season racing offshore, but the highlight for me was match racing with another Reflex 38 for five days on the Round Ireland Race. I am extremely proud of the team especially their heroic efforts in some of the worst conditions the yacht has ever raced in'.
Allie Smith of Sailing Logic enthuses: 'We are very proud of all our teams, but Visit Malta Puma and her intrepid offshore sailors winning RORC IRC Class 2 is definitely the highlight of the year, especially with the series becoming increasingly competitive. Furthermore, finishing 11th overall and being higher placed than many impressive professional crews is an incredible achievement for a Sailing School'.
Sailing Logic website