2022 Arkas World Championship Officially Opens
The competition, featuring 276 young sailors from 61 countries across the globe, had its kick-off today with an opening at Bodrum Castle.
Participants of the upcoming races formed a parade of nations through the Marina Bazaar. The flags and festivities created a colourful display. The parade was accompanied by the Bodrum marching band, creating a festive atmosphere. The parade led to the Bodrum castle, where the opening ceremony was held.
The night's first speaker was Özlem Akdurak, President of the Turkish Sailing Federation. She shared with the crowd that this moment was one of great joy for her and the entire Turkish sailing community. She continued by thanking Muğla Deputy Governor Murat Kahraman, Bodrum Governor Bilgehan Bayar, Bodrum Mayor Ahmet Aras, the International Optimist Dinghy Association, Muğla Sports Director Musa Kazım Açıkbaş, and most importantly, the young athletes and their coaches and families.
President Akdurak announced that the Turkish Sailing Federation made great efforts to host everyone in the best conditions. A record-breaking 276 athletes from 61 countries are joining this week's competition. She then announced how excited she was to host these participants in Bodrum, the paradise of history and sailing. She also expressed her gratitude to the valuable management of the International Optimist Dinghy Association, followed by another expression of gratitude to the many companies and institutions that support this event; The Ministry of Youth and Sports and its president, Dr. Mehmet Muharrem Kasapoğlu. Arkas Holding ensured that our Optimist boats were brought from China to Turkey on time and free of charge.
In addition, they will support the competition throughout the week with their volunteers to ensure that our relations with the press and media are carried out in the best way possible. It is for these reasons that this competition bears the Arkas name. She continued to thank the Bodrum Sports Sailing Club for the facilities they provided as well as the companies of Bodrum; Çağdaş Holding, Acıbadem Bodrum Hospital, Lapina Catering, Erçelik Halat, Ağanlar Shipyard, Binyıl Art Gallery and Vodafone.
Kevin Whitcraft, President of the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) was unable to attend the opening ceremonies, so Carmen Casco, Vice President of Europe spoke on his behalf. She thanked the Turkish Sailing Federation, the organizers and volunteers, as well as Arkas and the generous sponsors for all their support to ensuring the success of the 2022 Optimist World Championship. Most importantly she addressed the sailors and emphasized the importance of enjoying the experience and the lifelong friendships that they will make here in Bodrum.
After several other speeches and a flamenco dance presentation, the national teams were called to the stage one by one, concluding with the hosting Turkish national team. The event concluded with the raising the IODA Flag marking the official start of the 2022 Arkas Optimist World Championship.
The racing will last from the 29th of June to the 6th of July, featuring both individual and team racing events. The event will conclude with the closing ceremony and prize giving on the night of July 6th.