IODA 2010 Optimist Dinghy North American Championships

Kingston, ON – CORK welcomes 200 youth sailors aged 10-15 from 21 countries to participate in the 2010 IODA 2010 Optimist Dinghy North American Championships (www.optinam2010.org). The event brings together National Champions and top sailors from North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, as well as Japan and New Zealand. For many of the competitors this is their first trip to Canada, to experience ‘summer’ during their winter or to sail in fresh water. They may not speak the local language but they understand the language of sailing. They will be meeting other sailors and making new friendships that will last a lifetime.

Optimist dinghy (www.optiworld.org), the most popular sailboat worldwide for youth sailing, is the beginning for many of these athletes as they start their sailing careers which may culminate in an Olympic medal.

IODA has provided a Live Tracking system (Trac Trac, powered by Rogers Wireless) for this event. Through internet access (www.optinam2010.org) spectators may view races in progress, replays and follow individual sailors or teams around the race course.

Many participants are National Champions. Here are some of the ones to watch out for;

Argentina (ARG)- KlausLange, Javier Krick

Barbados (BAR) – Scott Gittens

Bermuda (BER) – Sam Stan, Ellie Wollman

Brazil (BRA) – Rafael Montiero

British Virgin Islands (IVB) – Robert Poole, Sam Morrell

Canada (CAN) – Meredith Megarry – ON (Canadian Champion 2009), Lloyd Lyall – BC, Peter Ehvert – ON, Kevin Surget – QC, Max Flinn – NS

Chile (CHI) – Mathias Robertson Junemann

Dominican Republic (DOM) – Justina Pacheco, Alina Nordbruch

Ecuador (ECU) – Moises Aray, John Aray

Guatemala (GUA) – David Hernandez

Japan (JAP) – Syun Watanbe

Mexico (MEX) – Hector Guzman Casas

Netherlands Antilles (AHO) – Louis Hendrix

New Zealand (NZL) – Trent Rippey

Peru (PER) – Renzo Sanguinetti Velasco, Stefano eschiera Loret De Mola, Caterina Romero Aguirre

Puerto Rico (PUR) – Andre Reguero, Jorge Lazaro

San Lucia (LCA) – Stapahnie Devaux-Lovell

Trinidad (TRI) – Derek Poon Tip

US Virgin Islands (ISV) – Colin Brego, Nicolas Gartner

United States of America ( USA ) – Christopher Williford (NA Champion 2009)

Uruguay (URU) – Alberto Lados

The event was kicked off with a parade of nations displaying their country flags and opening ceremonies in Queen’s Grant Hall. The 21 teams were welcomed by Kingston’s Deputy Mayor Vickie Schmolka, representatives of the International and Canadian Optimist Dinghy Associations and CORK, the event host. Lisa Ray from KROC K-105.2 acted as Master of Ceremonies and Kingston’s Town Crier declared the event open.

Lack of wind on Sunday led to an abandonment of the practice race. However, the sailors are now ready for tomorrow, the first day of racing in this North American Championship.

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