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Garda Optimist Meeting - A new Guiness World Record?

by Elena Giolai on 20 Mar 2012
Garda Optimist Meeting © Elena Giolai/Fraglia Vela Riva
Online entry number 1000 for the XXX Garda Optimist Meeting is Aline Schmittmann, born in 1998, Junior category, sailing number Ger 12690 from Seehaupt Yacht Club. This year, the event is setting out to break a new Guinness World Record.

A special commission will be arriving in Riva del Garda to officially certify the record as the regatta with the largest number of single- class boats taking part in the world. This is an encouraging sign for everyone who has worked so hard over the last few months to reach this level.

The German team is made up of 166 juniors and 45 cadets and at the moment is the nation with the second highest number of entrants after Italy with 278 total entrants. Other nations from all over the world are also well-represented: Denmark with 70 athletes, Poland and Russia with over 50, Sweden 40 and the U.S.A and the Ukraine with 20 each.


With all the work on the harbour and the Spiaggia degli Ulivi (Olive Tree Beach), now completed the boats will have even more space and will be able to use part of the newly restored 'Spiaggia degli Ulivi' which is adjacent to Fraglia Vela Riva. This year's event will be supported by Kinder+Sport, who as well as being a partner, has a philosophy which matches perfectly with the principals of Fraglia Vela Riva and who has worked tirelessly for decades in the promotion of sailing for the very young both in competition and in instruction.

With only about 20 days to go till the start of the event (5th -8th April), we are beginning to see the clubhouse come to life as everyone gears up for a memorable edition and the first teams and their coaches start to arrive ( some Poles are already here). This is above all a holiday for these very young but very determined sailors and their families who come here during Easter week. An event which is- and we hope will continue to be memorable especially for the participants as champion and Italian hope for London 2012 Giulia Conti* recalls:


'My victory at the Meeting is one of the best memories I have. To look round from the stern and see hundreds of boats behind me was really very emotional! It was the best way to end the season and leave behind the Optimist class and then to win the edition in the year 2000 made it even more special. The Meeting is a unique event and should be experienced at least once in your life, because when you move on to the Olympic classes you can forget about seeing so many boats altogether!'

And on the subject of The Olympics and great champions, it seems almost certain that we will have Olympian, International sailing legend and testimonial for Kinder+Sport, Alessandra Sensini for the opening ceremony scheduled for late afternoon on Wednesday April 4th in the centre of Riva del Garda.

Sailing and Tourism: a dual concept that Fraglia Vela Riva strives to improve year after year with its numerous, crowd-pleasing regattas. This endeavour is recognised by the local authorities who work together with the club in guaranteeing the participants a number of services of the highest quality.

The Garda Optimist Meeting, which takes place every year during Easter week, signals the start of the summer season on Trentino Garda and is therefore an important event for all the satellite businesses in the area.


This year we are holding a Photography Competition for amateurs and professionals who will discover in this event a world of colours and smiles.

Having surpassed the 1000th entrant, we can now focus on the final details in welcoming with the maximum of hospitality and professionalism, the sea of young sailors on Trentino Garda!

*Giulia Conti took part in the Athens Olympics (Yngling) and Beijing Olympics (470). She teams up with Giovanna Micol at the stern of the 470 for the London 2012 games where they are the Italian hopes for a medal. She won the Garda Optimist Meeting in 2000.

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