JUNIOR SAILORS TO REPRESENT ANTIGUA AT 2021 OPTIMIST WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPThursday 11th March 2021
Congratulations to junior sailors Emily Gaillard, Alistair Knoblauch, and Patrick Greensmith, all age 13 years, who will represent their country of Antigua at the prestigious 2021 Optimist World Championship. This year, the event will be hosted in Riva del Garda, Italy during June 30 – July 10, 2021. In order to be eligible for selection to the team each sailor had to qualify based on their previous performance in the boat and not be over the age of 15 years in the year of the event.
The Optimist dinghy is a one-person boat with the largest distribution of youth sailors around the globe, and the majority of kids who learn to sail in the Optimist go on to compete inmajor international sailing for the sport including the Olympic Games. In 2019 Antigua Yacht Club and Nelson’s Dockyard hosted the most successful Optimist World Championship on record, welcoming 65 countries and 269 youth sailors to compete in the ocean waters just off English Harbour. Unfortunately, due to the situation with Covid-19, the 2020World event had to be cancelled by the International Optimist Dinghy Class (IODA), the governing authority for the world’s Optimist sailing.
The maximum risk mitigation protocols are anticipated to be in place for all sailing championships of the Optimist Class during 2021, following the success of the 2020 Optimist European Championship was hosted in Slovenia in October 100% Covid-19 free. This result has giving confidence to all hosts of the upcoming 2021 Optimist championships that the events can be conducted safely and securely for all participants.
The three young Antiguan sailors on the 2021 Worlds Team will be focusing on developing their sailing skills over the next few months and are very excited to be recognized for their achievement. They will be accompanied to Italy by Team Leader Lorraine Gaillard as official chaperone, and their Coach Karl James, MBE.
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