Catalonian sailor Nacho Dávila, from Club Náutico Vilassar de Mar, has won the 29th International Optimist AECIO Trophy (Trofeo Internacional AECIO Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) after a brilliant performance. Dávila won four of the six races in the regatta, in which local sailor Yoel Hernández, from Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria, took the silver medal in a close battle for second place among various competitors. Third place on the podium goes to Mariona Rahola, who’s also from Catalonia and is a member of Club Náutic El Balis.
After a day without sailing because of a lack of wind, three heats were held today, although not without a few hitches due to the variable weather conditions. Today’s shifting wind varied in intensity from five to seven knots, while the sea had few waves.
In these conditions, the first race started an hour late and the course for the third and final race had to be changed.
The award ceremony was attended by the City Councillor for Ciudad de Mar (Sea City), Mimi González; Sports Councillor, Carlos Ester; the head of the naval dockyard, Juan González Aller; the head of Gando Air Base, Jorge Clavero; and the board of the host club, led by the president, Óscar Bergasa, and the commodore, Matías Gómez.
Also present at the ceremony were the president of the Canary Islands Sailing Federation, Joaquín Blanco; the president of the Gran Canaria Sailing Federation, Alejandro Barrera; Carlos Torrado, president of the Spanish Optimist Federation; and Alejandro de Juan, Canary Islands representative of the Federation.
The support of the City Hall (Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) and the Island Council (Cabildo de Gran Canaria) was essential for the holding of this event, which is now in its 29th year. This year the trophy was the inaugural regatta for the recently created Canary Islands Optimist Series (Circuito de Optimist Canario – COC), an initiative of the Canary Islands Sailing Federation aimed at fostering Optimist sailing in the Islands.
The international trophy, organised by Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria, is also the first regatta of the Optimist Excellence Cup 2014-15.
Translate from Spanish by Jane McGrath
A lack of wind prevented the start of the races scheduled for Sunday, the second day of the 29th International Optimist AECIO Trophy (Trofeo Internacional AECIO Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria), in which 150 Optimist sailors from various European countries, the Canary Islands and other parts of Spain are taking part.
The starting gun was sounded on two occasions, but racing had to be postponed both times. For Monday 29 December, three heats are scheduled, to be followed by the awards ceremony.
The provisional classification remains the same as at the end of Saturday’s racing.
Nearly 200 Optimist sailors from Spanish regions and abroad will be battling it out this weekend in the 29th International Optimist AECIO Trophy (Trofeo Internacional AECIO Regata Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria).
Organised by Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria and sponsored by Las Palmas de Gran Canaria City Hall and the Gran Canaria Cabildo, this is the first race in the newly created Canary Islands Optimist Series and the inaugural race for the Optimist Excellence Cup 2014-2015.
The Cup will be held from 26-29 December and is the second event on the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme, a series of races that combines competition and entertainment and makes RCNGC and the city a winter sailing base for European sailing.
An increase in the number of representatives from Spanish regional sailing federations is a reflection of the rising popularity of the Canary Islands regatta, which will be a barometer of the state of this class in Spain. Some of Spain’s top Optimist sailors will be at the Gran Canaria trophy.
Some 50 competitors in this year’s race are from other Spanish regions or overseas. The competitors on the harbour of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria this weekend will be from Sweden, Russia, the United Kingdom and Morocco, and as well as the sailors from the Canary Islands, other parts of Spain will be represented, including Galicia, Cantabria, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Murcia, Valencia and Alicante.
Optimist is the class for beginner sailors. At Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria alone, 120 children aged seven to 14 sail in this class.
The AECIO trophy (Asociación Española de la Clase Internacional Optimist – Spanish International Optimist Class Association) was created 29 years ago as a farewell race for children who’d reached the upper age limit in the Optimist class. The rules allow children to compete in Optimist until 31 December the year they turn 15. This means that competitors who’ve already started sailing in other classes can be racing for the trophy.
RCNGC sailors in this situation include Luis Doreste and Julio Alonso, who’ve already made their debut in 420 with a third place at the Spanish Under 16 Championship; Patricia Reino, European champion in team racing two seasons ago; and Álvaro del Busto and Álvaro Valido, who are already sailing in Laser 4.7 and have taken part in their first Spanish cup.
The competition will be tough at this year’s AECIO Trophy. The host club team will have to contend with Rubén Naranjo, who was 6th out of 355 sailors at the Ciudad de Palma race; Joel Hernández, second placegetter at the Semana Atlántico, held in Vigo two months ago; and other top sailors such as Samuel Beneyto, Eduardo Ojeda, Alberto Medina and Patricia Reino.
The winner’s name will be engraved on a plaque that he or she will keep for the year. In 2013 this honour went to RCNGC sailor Álvaro del Busto, who’s saying goodbye to the Optimist class this year.
The fleet will be divided into two groups each day, to allow all sailors to compete against each other. The groups will be changed every day according to the previous day’s classifications. Three races a day are scheduled, making a total of nine races.
On December 26 the competitors will be officially welcomed at an event in the afternoon, following an official training regatta at 14.00 hours.
The competition starts on December 27 at 12.00 hours. Races will start at 11.00 hours on the other two days.
Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath
Sailors from 23 countries will be taking part in the 16th Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela (Canary Islands Olympic Sailing Week), which was launched on Tuesday at Real Club Náutico de Gran Canaria. The skills level and the number of sailors registered for this iconic race in the Spanish series were deemed “a success” by the Club’s sports manager, Francis Bautista, who highlighted the attendance of sailors who’ve already qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and countries such as Russia, whose entire teams will be taking part.
The Russian, Lithuanian, Spanish and Portuguese Olympic teams and the Norwegian, Dutch and Turkish youth teams have brought all their members to the event in Gran Canaria.
The Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela is the first event on the Spanish calendar that will count towards entry into the Spanish Pre-Olympic sailing team. Several of the Club’s sailors, such as Onán Barreiros and Juan Curbelo in the 470 class, Joaquín Blanco in Laser Standard, and Martina Reino in Laser Radial, will be working for their places over the long weekend of the race.
Lucas Bravo de Laguna, Head of Sports with the Gran Canaria Cabildo, and Mimi González, City Councillor for Ciudad de Mar (Sea City), were at the launch to represent the two local bodies sponsoring the race, described as the “the Club’s most important event of the year” by Club President Óscar Bergasa, who led the press conference.
The Olympic Sailing Week is the longest-running event of the four races in the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme. After this race, which will be held from 4 to 8 December, the Gran Canaria club will be holding the Optimist Trofeo AECIO (26-29 December), Trofeo Isla de Gran Canaria (9-11 January) and the Regata de Carnaval (13-15 February).
One of the main innovations this year is the decision by European Region of International Laser Class Association (EurILCA) to start the Europa Cup series with the Regata de Carnaval Ciudad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. This has boosted the interest of Europe’s top teams in taking part in the final race of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme.
The RCNGC President announced that, for the first time, the Club is including Paralympic sailing in its winter races. The Club already has its team, comprising sailors Javier Ugarte and José Guerra, and several other European crews have confirmed they’ll be competing in Gran Canaria this winter.
City Councillor Mimi González, who sailed at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, highlighted the Council’s support for the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme and its importance for the city, which is promoted as a winter sailing base.
González said that the 2013 Olympic Sailing Week, in which 374 sailors took part, had brought in half a million (489,780.72) euros to the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. For the 2013 Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme, 689 sailors from around 20 countries came to Gran Canaria and the city earned 900,000 (892,747.62) euros, in figures announced by the councillor.
“At the Gran Canaria Cabildo we’re delighted to support the Semana Olímpica Canaria de Vela, which has become a well established event”, said Lucas Bravo, who added that “the idea of the Gran Canaria Sail in Winter programme is fantastic for promoting the island abroad”.
In addition to defining Real Club Náutico as a symbol of Gran Canaria, Bravo reiterated the support of the Cabildo and confirmed the ongoing collaboration of the public institution.
Sailors from 23 countries have registered.
Races will be run in two race areas:
The Olympic Week races will be held from 5 to 8 December, with three races a day starting at 11.00 hours.
(Translated from Spanish by Jane McGrath)