Optinam 2014 has finally ended and once again, Vallarta Yacht Club Members showed their support, welcoming 175 competitors from 19 countries.
Participating countries included: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Switzerland, United States, Uruguay, Virgin Islands (British), and Virgin Islands (U.S.).
In addition to the competitors, there were over 100 Team Leaders, Coaches and family members accompanying these young sailors, ages 8-15. Officials came from various parts of South America and North America bringing their vast knowledge, training and experience to the event.
Wind conditions for the event were predictably light but that didn’t stop these competitors from giving their best as evidenced by the results. To view the results of Optinam 2014, you can go to Optinam 2014 and click on "Results." You will see that included in this event was Team Racing, which we rarely see here in Vallarta.
At the local level, Mexico had 27 participants in Optinam including our own Carlos Sainz Mesa, who demonstrated his competitive spirit throughout the event. VYC Coach Eugenie Russell was also asked to be one of 3 coaches for the Mexico Team.
For almost two weeks, Paradise Village Resort was the home for all of the participants, family members and officials and their hospitality was flawless. Additionally, Dick Markie provided the dock space for the over 30 support boats used during the championship.
The culture of Mexico was a main attraction for the event beginning with the parade of competitors, by country and led by Mariachis walking from the Vallarta Yacht club, through Paradise Village Resort and into the Convention Center. The audience then enjoyed a performance by the Huicholi Dancers, brought in by the Riviera Nayarit Tourism Board. Mid-way through the event, Riviera Nayarit Tourism Board sponsored a welcome reception at El Tigre Golf Course, providing food and beverages along with the Huicholi Dancers and Mariachis.
In an effort to combine the Huicholi culture with todays Banderas Bay treasures, the trophies were make by local Huicholi artisans in the shape of a whale's tail with the magnificent Huicholi bead work.
Kudos go to the VYC Staff and volunteers who worked endlessly throughout the event helping with meals, measurement, dock work and fueling, as well as registration and merchandising. We could not have done this event without each and every one of you. Special acknowledgement should also be made to the VYC Junior Program participants who volunteered during the event demonstrating their spirit and enthusiasm for the sport of sailing.
The Mexican Sailing Federation President, Giovanni Aloi demonstrated significant confidence in Vallarta Yacht Club, its staff and members to create a successful and memorable event that Mexico could be proud to host. The reaction of participants during the event demonstrate that Vallarta Yacht Club succeeded.
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