The 2022 Optimist South American Championships gets underway on Saturday October 8 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and four Bahamians will be traveling there this week to compete.
The Fidelity Bahamas Optimist National Championships wrapped up this past weekend in Montagu Bay, and a quartet of the same sailors who competed at that event will represent The Bahamas in Rio de Janeiro.
Team Bahamas comprises 14-year-old Eliza Denning, 15-year-old Zane Munro and 12-year-old Patrick Tomlinson who all train with the Lyford Cay Sailing Club, and 14-year-old Norman Cartwright who sails with the Bahamas National Sailing School. Tomlinson won the national title, finishing first among the local sailors at the optimist nationals this past weekend.
These extremely accomplished young sailors are all ranked high in the junior national sailing rankings and have all recently taken part in other international sailing events including the Optimist World Championships in Bodrum, Turkey and the Optimist European Championships in Sønderborg, Denmark.
The week-long major international junior sailing event is held annually at different venues around the South American continent, and this year the young participants will experience sailing out of the waters surrounding the spectacular Rio de Janeiro Yacht Club. The event is open to the top optimist sailors from around the world with an age restriction of 8-15 years old.
There will be 21 nations represented at the South American Championships with 165 sailors currently registered on the entry list. Competition is expected to be stiff, but Team Bahamas is an incredible group of sailors who are extremely dedicated and passionate about their sport. All four are extremely proud to be representing The Bahamas in the international arena again this year.
The Optimist National Championships wrapped up this past weekend and was sponsored by Fidelity Bank. The Nassau Yacht Club hosted the event and is also hosting the Optimist North American Championships (OPTINAMs) in November which is expected to bring hundreds of young sailors from all over the world to The Bahamas. It is set to be the largest sailing event ever hosted in The Bahamas.