2021 Optimist World Championship
Just a few hours to go until the start of the Optimist World Championship, the flagship event of youth sailing sailing season, which for this year, after the postponement of the 2020 edition, has confirmed Fraglia Vela Riva as host location. The event returns to Riva del Garda eight years after the last edition, when in 2013 it was Singapore-born sailor Loh Jia Yi who was crowned World Champion, excelling over a fleet of 259 competitors.
Almost three hundred young athletes, representing fifty-six nations, have reached the sailing mecca of Lake Garda, in Italy, to try to put the seal on the world title, won in the last three editions by the “record holder” of the Optimist Class Marco Gradoni.
“On behalf of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) we are pleased that Fraglia Vela Riva with the Italian Optimist Class Association hosts the 2021 Optimist World Championship. Lake Garda is a wonderful sailing location with constant winds. Two long years have passed since the last Optimist World Championship: the sailors are resourceful and resilient, as are our organizers in carrying out their commitment to host the 2021 Optimist World Championship one year late. I wish all participants in the event a successful and healthy week. Do your best to keep yourself Covid-free” said IODA President Kevin Whitcraft.
Full of enthusiasm also the words of the President of the Italian Sailing Federation, Francesco Ettorre, who declared: “I am particularly fond of the Optimist Class, which has always been a starting sailing class for our enthusiasts. Italy is a nation with a long sailing tradition and many of our champions and experienced sailors began their careers with this small but at the same time big boat. Gathering the young promises of Italian and international sailing for such an important event in Italy will be a wonderful and stimulating experience for us all. Therefore, I am very happy that Italy has the opportunity to host the 2021 Optimist World Championship in the magnificent and windy town of Riva del Garda, already well known by the international Optimist Class for the Garda Meeting. I have no doubt that Fraglia Vela Riva, with the support of AICO, Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, Garda Trentino and Trentino region, will be able to organize an unforgettable and exciting event!”
With a maximum of five athletes for each nation, selected with careful internal processes, to bring the colours of Italy will be Quan Adriano Cardi (LNI Ostia), Lisa Vucetti (SVBG), Alessandro Cirinei (TMV), Alex Demurtas (FVR) and Lorenzo Ghirotti (FVR), coordinated by coach Marcello Meringolo and team leader Walter Cavallucci.
Racing will kick off on Friday with three consecutive days of qualifying that will allow the fleet to be divided into Gold, Silver, Bronze and Emerald groups for the final stages, scheduled for 7, 8 and 9 July. On Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 July the participants will instead be involved in the Team World Championship.
All updates on the racing will be published on the Optimist World Championship 2021 website at 2021worlds.optiworld.org