With just days to go before the start of the Optimist World Dinghy Championships to be staged in Antigua and Barbuda, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and the Ministry of Tourism, the official tourism partners for the 2019 Championships, are excited about the opportunities the prestigious youth sailing event will hold for the destination.
Taking place from July 6 – July 16, 2019 (races start on Monday 8July at 11 a.m. daily), The Optimist World Dinghy Championships hosted by the International Optimist Dinghy Association, will see young sailors between the ages of 10 – 15 years, displaying their prowess as they maneuver high waves on the waters, strong winds, and difficult courses in their small single-handed sailing dinghies.
A record-breaking 65 countries including Antigua and Barbuda, are registered to participate, bringing throngs of young sailors, their families, officials and well-wishers to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour, where activities will be concentrated for the next two weeks.
CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James, speaking at a media launch for the event held earlier today, said: “Antigua and Barbuda is truly the Mecca of Caribbean Sailing. Our spectacular sailing conditions, 1st class facilities, ease of air access and a host of talented and skilled sailing professionals are all the ingredients needed for a successful competition. Everyone in our beautiful country is hyped and excited as we get closer to the 6th of July which will mark the beginning of 10 days of fun and exciting races that are part of one of the most prestigious youth sporting event in the world.”
The Tourism Authority CEO welcomed visitors already on-island for the championships and extended well-wishes to the young sailors. The event is expected to provide a much-needed boost for Antigua and Barbuda during the shoulder season.
For those eager to get in on the action, an amazing cultural Opening Ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. on July 7 starting with the parade of flags from Falmouth to Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour followed by cultural performances, complete with a firework display at the Dockyard. Spectators can also watch the Fleet races when they kick-off on Monday July 8, at 11 a.m. from various vantage points within the community to include Shirley Heights and Fort Berkley or can follow the race onboard Wadadli Cats, the Official Spectator Boat.
This is the first time that Antigua and Barbuda will host the World Championships. The North American Optimist Dinghy Championships were held in Antigua in 2015 and in 2016.