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Tuesday 18th June 2013

Optimist sailing dinghies allow young sailors between the ages of 6 and 15 to learn the basics of sailing including navigation and competition.  For the past two years, the Antiguan Optimist Sailing Team has been developing its skills and has recently registered success at regional and international championships.  Two advanced sailors in particular, Rocco Falcone and Louis Bavay, have shown huge progress on several occasions during the past year.

Recent competitions at which they have participated include:

• North American Championships, Valle de Bravo, October 2012
Rocco Falcone finished 116th, overall 149th

• National Dinghy Championships, Antigua Yacht Club, August 2012
Louis Bavay finished 1st in Optimist and 1st overall

• Festi'voile in Guadeloupe, October 2012
Louis Bavay finished 1st in team racing, 4th in individual and 8th overall

• Orange Bowl Regatta, Miami, December 2012
250 Optimist sailors competing, with 90 sailors in the Blue Fleet
Rocco Falcone finished 24th, overall 72nd
Louis Bavay finished 41st, overall 130th

• Puerto Rico Championships, March 2013, 35 Optimist sailors
Rocco Falcone finished 1st; Louis Bavay finished 2nd

• Optimist Meeting Riva Del Garda, March 27, 2013, 852 sailors
Rocco Falcone finished 391st; Louis Bavay finished 465th
Bronze Fleet had 171 sailors - Rocco finished 48th; Louis finished 95th

• BVI International Dinghy Championship, 25 advanced sailors
Louis finished 11th; Rocco finished 12th
Blue Fleet - Louis finished 4th; Rocco finished 5th

Upcoming regattas that the team plans to attend include the International Optimist Regatta in St. Thomas from June 21 to 23, 2013; the World Optimist Championship at Lake Garda, Italy from July 15 to 26, 2013; Festi'voile in Guadeloupe, November 2013; the Orange Bowl International Optimist Regatta in Miami from December 27 to 31, 2013; Dinghy Championship in Curacao in February 2014; Schoelcher Challenge in Martinique in February and November 2014; North American Championship in Puerto Rico, July 2014; and World Championship in October 2014.  This year the team will represent Antigua for the second time in history at the World Championship in Italy.  Sailors will compete against 250 of the best Optimist sailors in the world from more than 55 nations.

In addition to the two advanced sailors on the team, other youngsters are following in their footsteps and have also attended regional regattas recently including:

• San Juan International Dinghy Championships, Green Fleet - 22 sailors
Daniel Smit finished 1st; Maria Eldridge finished 6th; River Andrews finished 7th; and Jalice Gordon finished 9th

• BVI International Dinghy Championship, May 4/5, 2013
Optimist Green Fleet, 18 sailors
Jalice Gordon finished 5th; Maria Eldridge finished 7th

The Antigua sailing team also includes Laser sailors who are showing good potential and have participated as follows:

• BVI International Dinghy Championship, May 4/5, 2013
10 Laser Radial competitors
Lewis Fitzgerald finished 3rd; Jules Mitchell finished 4th; Rhone Kirby finished 6th; Vincent Anfi finished 7th

The image of young sailors is:

• Healthy young generation which respects the environment.
• Have a passion for sport and competition.
• Dynamic, fun and determined.

The Antiguan Optimist Sailing Team’s objectives are:

• To be able to support a permanent international coach to improve techniques.
• To attend regional and international championships to measure their performances.
• To inspire other local children to become involved in the sailing environment.

Sailors' Fundraising

The young sailors understand the necessity to raise funds to finance the many expenses associated with the competitions.  They came up with the idea to sell crepes at Antigua Yacht Club Marina every weekend during the busy season in order to raise funds.  So far 870 crepes have been sold which has helped towards purchasing their tickets to the upcoming BVI Regatta.

Sponsorship Participation

The Antiguan Optimist Sailing Team is looking for sponsorship support to enable it to participate in as many regional and international events as possible.  In return for your financial support, the Team will offer several sponsorship benefits including placement of your logo on hulls, spars, flags, and on official uniforms plus media coverage in regional newspapers and publications.  For additional benefits of sponsorship and to obtain more information, please contact Lilly Bavay at or at +1 268 764 6404.

The Team does appreciate your support!

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