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July 22, 2014

Optimist North American Championships Takes Place in Mexico for Third Time

By Zahra Al-Kateb

The Riviera Nayarit is one of the exclusive venues that have hosted the Optimist North American Championships (OPTINAM); this year’s event marks the third time it has been held in Mexico.

The International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) decided that Mexico would host the event this year, so the Mexican Sailing Federation (FMV, by its acronym in Spanish) didn’t think twice about choosing the Riviera Nayarit for its ample infrastructure and its natural bounty.

“The venues are chosen two years ahead of time, with proposals being presented and then a winner decided upon. This was a special case because it needed to be organized with a short lead time and only the Riviera Nayarit could prepare everything with such little notice,” commented Dan Green, Director of the Vallarta Yacht Club’s (VYC) Youth Sailing program.

Of all the possible venues on the continent, Green pointed out the San Francisco Bay as comparable to the Riviera Nayarit, with the latter having the advantage of warmer weather and all the necessary facilities close by. This definitely places it at the level of the most renowned sailing venues in the US and the world.

The competitions ended on July 16th with the awards ceremony where perpetual trophies were handed out to the winners of the three championships at play through the IODA: Optimist Individual North American Championship (INAM), Optimist Team Racing North American Championship (TRNAM) and the Optimist Nations Cup (NC).

The top 65 competitors in the different categories in this year’s OPTINAM received Huichol statuettes as a reward for their efforts; they also awarded nine special prizes.

Click the link to view the top players out of the 227 participating youths as listed on the official event page with the official results:

The VYC will offer its traditional Summer Sailing Program starting July 21st; the disciplines include Optimist, Laser and Windsurf.

For dates, times and rates, please contact 01 (322) 297-2222, email or visit their official Facebook page:

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Sailing is a sport that attracts tourism to the Riviera Nayarit: during the OPTINAM 2014 competition, the youths were accompanied by their parents and trainers and took the time to enjoy the ecotourism activities in the region, among other elements that generated income for the region.

The same is true of the summer camp. The youths that attend come from different areas of Mexico and the United States; their families will vacation in the region while the children train to become athletes and all around better human beings.

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