The Optimist World Championships 2016 will be runnings from 25 June to 4 July in Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal. The event, presented today to the press, brings together about 270 young sailors from 60 countries and will have its official start with the opening ceremony to be held tomorrow, Saturday, June 25, at 20 hours. The national team of five sailors who will represent Portugal at the event includes two from the Algarve: Beatriz Gago (Clube Naval de Portimão) and Guilherme Cavaco (Ginásio Clube Naval de Faro).
Vilamoura will host during the next week, the most important international sailing event to be held in Portugal in 2016. It is the second sporting event that brings together more nationalities in the world, after the Olympic Games. It is one of the main events in the international sailing calendar. If we add to sailors their coaches, ‘team leaders’ and trainers we have close to 400 participants.
Hugo Nunes, Vice President of the Câmara Municipal de Loulé, highlights the importance of the event for the county: “Sailing serves as an emblem for this part of the territory and when the International Vilamoura Marina Club has presented this challenge we jumped in. The Vilamoura Marina is a business card and that’s what we want the sailors and their families to keep in memory of this World Optimist. The municipality of Loulé has quality to receive and hopefully they will want to come back.
Rodrigo Moreira Rato, one of the organisers, recalls the way to the Optimist Worlds eve: “The process began in October 2014 when we presented the candidacy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and we managed to bring the event to Vilamoura. This year, we have had three successful test events and we are ready to start the World Cup”. Moreira Rato also took the opportunity to highlight some important numbers: “More than 1,500 people are in Vilamoura and will have a direct economic impact of more than 1.5 million euro“.
Moreira Rato also not forget some of the crucial support to carry out the Optimist Worlds: “Without the commitment of the Companhia Náutica none of this would be possible. Also Turismo de Portugal and the Turismo do Algarve are critical to the success of this event”.
The press conference was also the timing of the presentation of the Portugal team that will consist of Manuel Ramos (Clube de Vela do Barreiro), Filipe Egipto (Clube de Vela do Barreiro), Beatriz Gago (Clube Naval de Portimão), Diogo Sampaio (Clube de Vela Atlântico) and Guilherme Cavaco (Ginásio Clube Naval de Faro).
The first race of the Optimist World Championships 2016 is scheduled for 13:00 next Sunday.