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15 July 2013, 10:11 am
The Future Is Bright As Optimist World Championship Teams Get Ready
Optimist Worlds - final training

Optimist World Championship 2013
Lake Garda, Italy

249 Optimist sailors are ready to race on Lake Garda in the 51st Optimist World Championship. Racing will start on Wednesday 17 July.
The first official event takes place with the welcome concert on the impressive rock in Riva del Garda on 15 July with the opening ceremony on Tuesday 16 July in Riva del Garda's town centre in the presence of ISAF President Carlo Croce, Olympic Champion Alessandra Sensini, the President of IODA Peter Barclay and local dignitaries. The individual and team regattas will continue until 25 July.

So here we are: while the world's media is focusing on the America's Cup, the future skippers of the Cup are involved in Italy in one of the most important events of the season. The World Championships of the Optimist class, one of the most popular boats for children.

In the days leading up to the Championships, the weather has been glorious with plenty of sunshine and winds of 14 to 20 knots giving us the chance to see the ability of some of these very young helmsmen as they demonstrate their first navigational skills. On the organizational side everything is running to perfection on water and on land. This is due to the operational staff at Fraglia Vela Riva who have been implementing all their experience gained from achieving a Guinness World Record for the largest single class regatta in the world to the most international regattas organized in a year; experience that places Fraglia Vela Riva on top of the world. Naturally we are keeping our fingers crossed that the weather conditions continue to remain settled, guaranteeing the classic conditions that make Upper Lake Garda, Trentino a unique training ground for sailing sports.

Before the start of the World Championships, the "Pre- Worlds" will take place. This is a separate event which will allow the athletes to try out the regatta course and smooth out any problems on the water before they race for the coveted title. As expected the athletes from Singapore, New Zealand and The Ukraine have been showing what they capable of but also Italy had to go through a rigorous test making them one of the most competitive Teams.

249 boys and girls aged 12-14 from 59 nations and 5 continents will be on the water with each Team having a maximum of five athletes. For some the objective is to reach the podium, while for others it's being part of the most important event in under 14 sailing and a wonderful opportunity not just for racing.

Teams from Australia, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa and the US are training hard but also making some time to discover the area. The New Zealand team took a trip along the beautiful trail that overlooks Riva del Garda. Tunisia had a day not to be missed at Gardaland and team Japan discovered Riva del Garda's old town centre and savoured Italian ice-cream on the lake front! Sport, tourism and the exchange of cultures in close contact among the different populations who have come here from all over the world!

"Optiworlds Life" in facebook page of Fraglia Vela Ria

Photo gallery by Matias Capizzano

Fraglia Vela Riva
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