For all the information on the 2016 Malta Open (23rd-25th September), please read the PDF here.
We all love this sport, and whilst sometimes it makes no sense to, we all still do love it. The competition, the variety, the mental element of scoreboard pressure on your creaking tennis serve, the community which we enjoy and continues to grow; make up for those irritating days when nothing works and you ache all over. However one thing on our Racketlon wish list would be a little more sun and warmth. Whilst there are some great outdoor venues on the UK & World Tours, they are pretty much limited to parts of Europe where UK Racketlons resident (amateur) meteorologist (and third person talker) James Pope is always highly doubtful of dry weather until he sees it.
However, there is one beaming ray (no not Jordan) of sunshine on the calendar, a small island, sparkling away in the Mediterranean, the beautiful country of Malta. In 2015 the Malta Open debuted on the FIR World Tour and proved to be an instant hit, both on and off the court. There is also no need to take my word for it, the 2015 event carried the Jesper Ratzer seal of approval and we have no doubt the 2016 Malta Open will be bigger and better.
Evening tennis, under lights and palm trees
Moving slightly earlier in the calendar, this year the tournament will be hosted from 23rd to 25th September, once again at the Marsa Sports Club. Perfect outdoor tennis conditions (ATP/ITF competitions held here) surrounded by palm trees. 5 air-conditioned squash courts (used for the European Squash Champs). International standard badminton mats and TT tables, there are no weak links in the Malta Open facilities. Between matches you can recover in/besides the pool or enjoying the clubs lovely air conditioned bar. The facilities are truly tremendous, as per the UK Racketlon album from last year’s event. The event is being run by the Malta Racketlon Association with support from UK Racketlon, blending the best local knowledge with the experience from the UK.
Johnny Bispham getting into the swing of Racketlon in Malta On Court, while the players enjoyed the Friday night BBQ
The Malta Open however is the holistic Racketlon experience, i.e. not just a Racketlon event, but so much more. 2016 will see the return of the Blue Lagoon boat trip, immensely popular with the players last year, this trip will take place on Monday 26th September. The trip is the perfect way to recover post Racketlon, a lazy gentle day exploring the Maltese coast by boat and then swimming in a quiet secluded lagoon. Meanwhile, Malta is an island of great history from the staging of the crusades to being under siege in World War II. Ancient cities such as Mdina await your exploration, whilst the inland mountains offer breath taking views across the country. All this easily accessible by buses or (fairly) reasonably priced taxis.
The Cavalieri Hotel in Spinola Bay
Malta is very popular in late September, so it is vital to get your flights and accommodation booked in early, so please do so now and get the Malta Open added to your calendar. Everyone who attended last year had a great time and I am sure many of us will be returning, certainly I will!
Racketlon Tourists at the Blue Lagoon