Garda Optimist Meeting hits 1000 helmsmen

Garda Optimist Meeting
Giovanni De Sandre
29th Garda Optimist Meeting - Around forty nations will be participating including Australia, Brazil, Japan, Lithuania, the Ukraine, and Israel. The Italian squad is the largest, followed by Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Russia, Spain, and the United States.

The opening ceremony is on Wednesday afternoon, the 20th of April, with a parade through the centre of Riva del Garda of all the participants bearing the flag of the country they are representing. This is an unbeatable opportunity for young sailors and their families to spend a holiday in Trentino Garda, a holiday which apart from sailing offers countless possibilities-cultural, sporting and gastronomical.

Fraglia Vela Riva kicks off its racing season during Easter week, April 21 to 24, with the 29th edition of the Garda Optimist Meeting, the most 'popular' single class regatta on the planet, which attracts around a thousand young helmsmen every year from all over the world (c. 40 nations). This event is considered the cream of the crop by the Upper Garda Trentino Club, with its high level of competition and festivities for participants, coaches and chaperones, many of them family members here for the long Easter break.

Garda Optimist Meeting
Giovanni De Sandre

After the official opening on Wednesday 20th April, the competition starts on Thursday with participants divided into cadets and juniors, and racing in heats. As you can imagine, the logistics of such an operation is extremely demanding, but the staff at Fraglia Vela Riva is dedicated to ensure that every young racer has an unforgettable experience, not only in the racing or sporting sense.

The weather forecast seems to be on our side, with sun predicted over the next few days, and which will undoubtedly make this event even more spectacular. Every afternoon, after the races, hot chocolate and pasta will be served to everyone. On Friday there’s a Nutella Party and pizza. Adjacent to the Club, along the river, there will be a number of concessionary stands, exhibiting the latest in sailing equipment.

Garda Optimist Meeting
Giovanni De Sandre

The event is supported by partners, who every year contribute to help us, not only make it possible, but also to improve it year on year. Next year we reach our 30th edition, with the hope that we will be hosting the World Championships in 2013 (Fraglia Vela Riva is a candidate, and the venue will be announced at the beginning of the New Year). We would like to acknowledge the support of the Province of Trento, Trentino, Kinder Ferrero, inGarda, Cassa Rurale, Alto Garda and Palafiere. Official suppliers of the club are Marine Pool, Lizards and Hannspree.

'We are looking forward to a busy season, as always, and we are delighted to open the 2011 calendar with the 29th Garda Optimist Meeting. Our attention is focused on the youngsters, and we welcome the innovation that they bring to the world of sailing. This has always been fundamental to us at Fraglia Vela Riva – said President Mauro Stanga, in his second year as president – our club is delighted to welcome the thousand or so participants and their families to the Garda Meeting.

Garda Optimist Meeting
Giovanni De Sandre

The club is extremely happy to have been chosen once again as a pioneer of new events dedicated to young sailors. The European Youth Sailing Games 13th to 18th of August, multi-class (Byte C11, Multiscafo and Sailboard) opens a new chapter for Eurosaf, offering a European event to young continental sailors. Trentino Garda is one of the preferred locations for European sailors, and Fraglia Vela Riva will be the first to meet the challenge '.

Fraglia Vela Riva