After 19 years of long hiatus, the Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championship is back in Mumbai.
Scheduled to take place between December 13 - 20 at the Girgaum Chowpatty, the week-long international Regatta in optimist class will is organised under the aegis of the Maharashtra Gujarat and Goa Area Army Yachting Node (AYN).
The event is the continental championship for Asian and Oceanian member nations who are part of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA). This event was last hosted by India in 2003.
In all 105 competitive sailors from 13 countries in the Asian and Oceania region will be seen in action during the week-long event. These sailors, both boys and girls upto the age of 15, hail from the following countries: USA, Belgium, Mauritius and Turkey.
In addition, around 25 officials from Argentina, Thailand, New Zealand, South Korea, Turkey, Japan, Canada and India will form the core of the International Jury/Race Management.
“The sport aims to contribute to Nation building by channelising the energy of youth into sports, character building, inculcate the spirit of adventure and empower them to face future challenges,” said Colonel Nachhatar Singh Johal, the Commanding officer of the AYN and 2008 Beijing Games Olympian. “This event will present us an excellent opportunity to showcase our preparedness for major events and also parade our best talents to the world at large. It will not only encourage tourism in the country but also contribute in transforming India into a world class sailing destination in future,” added Colonel Johal.
The officer also added that the aim of the event is to motivate young and budding sportspersons, "while trying to provide impetus to sailing as a sport in Mumbai and Maharashtra, by promoting this ‘environment friendly’, ‘clean’ and ‘green’ sport amongst the youth of the country."
The event will kick off with an opening ceremony on December 14, 2022 at the Yashwantrao Chavan Centre in Nariman Point. All 10 races will be held with a maximum of three races per fleet per day. The event will wind down with a closing ceremony on December 19, 2022 at Thackers in Chowpatty.
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