Africans 2019 Opening Ceremony

Welcome from IODA VP Ajay Narang

African Optimist Championships 2019 - Seychelles
Opening address by IODA VP Ajay Narang

On behalf of the International Optimist Dinghy Association, it is a pleasure to welcome young Optimist sailors, families and friends from more than 8 countries, who are set to make Seychelles their home this week as the racing action starts at the IODA African Championship 2019.

The premier event for Africa in the 2019 IODA Calendar, has attracted top sailors from Angola, Reunion Islands (France), Mauritius, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia and Seychelles to compete in five days of high octane racing off west coast of Mahe Islands, Seychelles.

African Optimist Championships 2019 - Seychelles
Mixing of the waters.

Many of the international sailors who will be competing for their first time at the regatta – will be looking to make it to the top as quickly as possible. One sailor will be crowned the 2019 African Champion this week, but you are all champions having earned the right to be here by qualifying in your own country to be part of your national team.  Be proud of your extraordinary accomplishment.  I know you will represent yourself and your nation well.

A warm welcome to the team of International Technical Officials.  For Race Management, Ilker Bayinder (TUR), is the IODA Principle Race Officer.  The International Jury is comprised of Alan Keen (RSA) the Jury Chairman, Chris Atkins (GBR) Chief Umpire, Antonio Matta (POR), and Iuan Grey (RSA).  Curly Morris, IM (IRL) is the IODA Chief Measurer, assisted by Ann Morris.  A warm welcome and thanks also to Karl James (ANT) and Millicent Keen (RSA) who are here helping the race management team.

The 2019 IODA African Championship is only possible due to the hard work of the Organising Committee, and the many volunteers. Thank you for the several months of dedication and effort that has taken place to ensure that this event will be a success. We also thank the many sponsors who have financially supported this event.

To you, the sailors, I wish you fair winds and following seas !!

Ajay Narang

IODA VP Africa, Asia & Oceania