Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Four Belizean Sailors attend 2015 Optimist North American Championship


Four young Belizean sailors were in English Harbour, Antigua participating in the 2015 Optimist North American Championship. From Sunday, July 5th to Monday, July 13th, 13-year-old Kevin Vasquez, 12-year-old Trent Hardwick, 13-year-old Jazmine Campos and 13-year-old Nashira Ricardez sailed the unchartered waters of Antigua in their first ever international competition. The championship was sponsored by Seaboard Marine and organized by Antigua Yacht Club under the authority of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA). A total of 162 sailors representing 23 countries participated: Argentina, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Cayman, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA, US Virgin Islands and Antigua.Belize Sailors at Antigua-1
Since arriving in Antigua on Wednesday, July 2nd, the four sailors have participated in various events including the opening ceremony, movie night, quiz night and, of course, racing! “Upon arrival, the Belize contingent was personally greeted and escorted by a very affable regatta hostess named Lily. Clearly, hospitality is one of Antigua’s inherent characteristics,” said Forrest Jones, Public Relations Officer of the Belize Sailing Association.Belize Sailors at Antigua-3
The 10-day program included training, five days of fleet racing and one day of team racing. The sailors competed in designated fleets of 54 sailors at a time. Nashira and Jazmine competed in the Red Fleet, while Trent and Kevin competed in the Blue Fleet. Overall, Jazmine finished 31st in her fleet with a net score of 331. Nashira placed in 43rd with a net score of 391. Trent finished 40th in his fleet with a net score of 257 and Kevin finished 47th with a net score of 282. The sailors also participated for the first time in team racing.

This is the first time Belize has participated in the Optimist North American Championship. The Belize delegation was coached by 25-year-old Argentinean Juan Ignacio Mazzini.
The San Pedro Sun congratulates the four young sailors on their achievements in Antigua.

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