Garda Optimist Meeting - Happy smiling faces
by Fraglia Vela Riva-Ufficio Stampa on 24 Apr 2011
29th Garda Optimist Meeting organized by Fraglia Vela Riva has been a huge success with perfect weather and happy children.
29th Garda Optimist Meeting Giovanni De Sandre
With one day remaining of the 29th Garda Optimist Meeting, the sight here at Fraglia Vela Riva is of happy, smiling children with their little boats and sails. They come from nearly 40 different countries but they all have one thing in common.....a passion for sailing. The weather conditions have been absolutely perfect up to now: warm temperatures, sun and wind in abundance have set the scene for this sailing extravaganza which has involved a very large number of youngsters despite the other international events going on at this time. A total 855 participants took part in this year's edition. It is considered a record despite the other events going on, Croatia (400 registered), France (400) and Poland.
At Riva del Garda there was a high number of legs raced and with one day remaining the juniors have completed eight good races, the cadets six. On Sunday there will be two final legs which will decide the medal positions.
On Saturday Italian Guido Gallinaro (Fraglia Vela Riva) soared to the top of the cadet table, he shares equal points with Lucas Bergstrom of Sweden. Further behind in third place is Lithuanian Janulionis with nine points. In fourth place is Italian Luca Penini of Fraglia Vela Malcesine; Amos Di Benedetto of Marsala suffered an OCS in the fourth leg and fell into fifth place. It's all to play for on Sunday with two races left for the cadets (9 to 11 years). In the juniors the battle is for third place. First with a 14 point lead is Nogay Dokmeci of Turkey (three firsts, four seconds and a 22nd discarded). In second place is Jesper Thomasson of Sweden. Holding on to third place is Matteo Pincherle (CV Sanbenedettese), but there is a group of ten racers hot on his heels. First of the girls is Olivia Bergstrom of Sweden in fifth place overall after achieving a third and a first on Saturday. Maria Vittoria Marchesini (SV Barcola Grignano) is also doing well lying in sixth place and second among the girls. As well as the spectacular sight of all these youngsters together on the water, there is also the high technical level that will decide the top positions that are all still to play for.
'The success of this event has been the formula of combining the game aspect with that of sport and competition - said President of Fraglia Vela Riva Mauro Stanga. During these past few days we have endeavoured to offer not just regattas but also activities that would involve everyone.....participants and their families alike. On Friday evening at the Pala meeting of Riva we held a Pizza and Nutella party with music and prize raffles. Everyone was able to enjoy themselves and socialize with each other on dry land. This year we have the important involvement of local businesses who, with our valued partnerships with prestigious sponsors, help us make it possible to organize such a historic event'.