Born in Berlin Germany in 2005, young sailor Richard Schultheis moved to the beautiful island of Malta at the age of 6. He immediately fell in love with the community at his school: the Malta Young Sailors Club. Just before his 7th birthday he was allowed to go on an Optimist and from that point on his love for training and sailing started to grow. While he personally loves competing in sailing he admits that it has helped him challenge himself more and more as he found himself competing against sailors from all over the world. Thanks to his school, and now the support of The Jonathan Chetcuti Program, he’s been traveling regularly to participate in World Class events.
Richard spoke to Yachting.mt about his passion for sailing and where it all started. “My passion for sailing started at a very early age. When I was only a few months old I was taken onto a boat to sail with my father, who was frequently sailing in his free time. I enjoyed the silence from the city and the rush of the waves on the water. As soon as I moved to Malta and saw the great sailing conditions I had started sailing on my own,” explained Richard.
He went on to say that his greatest achievements so far come mostly from the very big international events in which he participated. “After chasing the same dream for long 7 years I finally achieved a Silver Medal at the Optimist
World Championship in 2019. After that I managed to win my first Waszp Foiling Week regatta in summer 2020,” he explained. Besides the Medal at the Optimist Worlds in 2019 Richard is very proud of having moved to the Olympic class 49er at the age of 16 already and can start chasing his next dream…participating at the Olympic Games 2024.
Richard Schulteis is able to continue progressing in his sailing career with great support from The Jonathan Chetcuti Program
Asked about how exactly is Richard getting support from The Jonathan Chetcuti Program, he explained that the program is supporting him in his goal of participating at the Olympic Games in 2024. “Financial support is crucial for pursuing my dream as of course I am still a student at school
and not a professional athlete. School and sailing on that level does not leave any room for working to earn money for my growth in sailing,” remarked Richard.
The Jonathan Chetcuti Program was set up by Jonathan Dalli, Elaine Bonello and Gege Gatt in memory of the late Jonathan Chetcuti, with the aim to fund young and promising athletes in different sporting careers. The first athlete selected was in fact Richard.
Asked about any upcoming plans, Richard explained that he would like to gain experience in the 49er class as fast as possible to be able to compete at the qualifying event next year, which leads to a participation at the Olympic Games.
“There are multiple big events lined up now to help me gain experience in competitions, which I am very excited about. We just returned from Vilamoura where I went through training and racing and currently I am in Mallorca preparing for the World Cup, which will take place at the beginning of April,” Richard went on to say.
We wish the best of luck to Richard in continuing his journey in becoming a top sailor!