Maximillian Mamo and Romario Brignone, from Klabb Regatta Bormla, became the first rowers from a Maltese club to compete in an Olympic-style double sculling boat (2X) at an international race, last weekend.
The Ratzeburg International Regatta gave the two young oarsmen the chance to compete against a field of experienced world class Under-23 rowers from four different nations.
On Saturday, Mamo and Brignone raced against the pairs from Germany, France, Denmark and Poland in one heat and the B-Final and in the Final race 24 hours later.
Though failing to avoid the last position on both occasions, those present appreciated the Bormla pair’s performance, applauding as they crossed the finishing line after a tough 2,000m course.
Their best time stood at 8:44, achieved in Sunday’s Final.
Mamo and Brignone’s participation in the Ratzeburg International Regatta was part of the second Maltese-German Rowing Project which started in 2015 with a one-week training camp at the Akademischer Ruderverein Leipzig.
The programme continued for ten days this year in Leipzig and at the German National Rowing Academy in Ratzeburg.
The project is also supported by Sport Malta, the German National Rowing Federation, Akademischer Ruderverein Leipzig and the Deutsch-Maltesische Gesellschaft.
Expert coaching was conducted by Daniel Bruederle who pointed out from the beginning that after only ten days of training in a sculling double, it was almost im-possible for Mamo and Brignone to match the same times of the elite crews in Ratzeburg.
“The main aim here was gaining racing experience in an Olympic-style boat for Mamo and Brignone,” he said.
Stephen Paris, from the Klabb Regatta Bormla and Akademischer Ruderverein Leipzig’s Joe Speck assisted the two oarsmen in their trip to Germany.
Malta became member of the International Rowing Federation (FISA) last year.
Considering the skill, strength and endurance of the Maltese rowers, it now seems the perfect time to involve more of them in international rowing.
Mamo summed up his experience saying: “Last year’s training helped a lot and it would now be great if we could have some sculling boats in Malta, too.”
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