© Matias Capizzano

South America Championship - Optimist

International South American Championship 2021 - Optimist in Mar del Plata (ARG)

Sigrid Beckmann, Vice President of IODA,  opened the championship in a solemn ceremony. The Optimist South American Championship 2021 has started with 160 competitors in Argentina at Club Nautico Mar del Plata, about 400 km south of Buenos Aires. 

Matías Capizzano and Nicolás Benvenuto are the "heads", the organisers, in whose hands the entire planning and implementation of this major event lies. Matias, an internationally renowned sports photographer, is best known for his spectacular photos at many Optimist championships and the publication of these photos in a great illustrated book.

Pablo Villar: The participants of the championship in Argentina can be provided with a training tool by "Tactical Sailing" - and even in Spanish. The idea for this Spanish version of "Tactical Sailing" came from Pablo Villar (ARG), who has been working intensively in Buenos Aires for years to promote young Argentinean sailing talent. Pablo: "Tactical Sailing Tool surely will help them understand the reasons behind tactical decisions and make them better tactical sailors!"

12 countries: The South American countries of Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay are represented here with their young sailing talent, but guests from Bermuda, Canada, Lithuania and the USA have also confirmed their participation in the championship.

Tactical Sailing Toolbox - Learn and apply tactical decisions

Pablo Villar: The participants of the championship in Argentina will be provided with a training tool by "Tactical Sailing(TS)" - and even in a Spanish language version. The idea for this Spanish language version came from Pablo Villar (ARG), who has been working intensively in Buenos Aires for years to promote young sailing talent. The Tactical Sailing "Trainer Toolbox" offers computer simulations of important tactical exercises used by successful sailors and coaches. Examples in video clips can be seen on You Tube.
Pablo: "The Tactical Sailing Tool will certainly help them understand the rationale behind tactical decisions and make them better tactical sailors!"

Examples: The sailor should make a decision when the wind direction changes and steer the boat according to the following basic rules:

  1. Long-short leg: Sail the long leg!
  2. Switchpoint: Sail to the switchpoint and tack!
  3. Lift-header: Sail the lift!
  4. Recognise and avoid risk zones: Do not enter the dark grey zone, stay away from the lay line!

Boat control during uphill and downhill sailing in the battle against the waves

Sailing on the open sea off the coast of Argentina - a special challenge for the kids! High waves and strong winds become a risky "up and down" ride on the water for the small boats, which can quickly "get out of hand"!
Photos: © Matías Capizzano (ARG). See more photos in his great book - The Optimist Image Book.

International South American Champion 2021

Final Results: 1. David Coates USA 22863; 2. Logan Mraz USA 17118; 3. Franco Sanchez ARG 4014 (Best South American) ...10. Julieta Benedetto Josef ARG 3950 (Best Girl).

Matias Capizzano

But the biggest applause went to the organiser of this championship, Matias Capizzano, who succeeded with his commitment to make the event, originally planned for March 2020 and cancelled due to Covid, an unforgettable experience for all participants.

Photo Credit: © Matias Capizzano, Tactical Sailing

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