A medal for Mozambique at the All African Games

Maputo, Mozambique
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A medal for Mozambique at the All African Games

Successful event draws to a close

In the female Optimist event at the All Africa Games, Maria Mabjaia of the host nation secured the bronze medal after at most just six months of sailing - an incredible achievement. The event was won in great style by Ines Gmati from Tunisia, (Tunisia will shortly be hosting the IODA African Championships), and second was Emma Clark, South Africa. In the male optimist, David Wilson, South Africa, won by just one point from Abdelkhalek Boussouar, Algeria, who were both well ahead of Rubin Heard also South Africa.

Maria Mabjaia, Mozambique Photo © Clube Maritimo de Desportos

In February 2011 the Mozambique Sailing Federation imported 15 new Optimists, the first since independence. These were subsidised by the International Optimist Dinghy Association under its ‘6 for 5’ scheme and in May IODA sent Nuno Reis IM from Portugal to give an instructor training course.

The Federation were so pleased with his input that they invited him to act as coach to the Mozambique team at the Games themselves. These initiatives have paid off with a medal which few would have expected, with Maria doing just enough in the final race to squeeze ahead of her rivals from Algeria, Zimbabwe and Angola. In the boys’ event Deurry Mavimbe, Mozambique, placed in the top half of the 18 boat fleet with a creditable 7th.

Earlier in the event Nuno Reis talked with Deurry about his first ever international Optimist event: "Hi My Name is Deurry Mavimbe. I'm from Mozambique and I'm 11 years old, I'm sailing Optimist in All Africa Games, representing my country. Today I had an excellent day on the water, the wind was great in the morning 5 to 11 knots and the sea a bit choppy. The first race of the day I finished 5th, cause I didn't had a good start. The second race I chose the right side of the course on the first beat and I ended up in second just behind Inês from Tunisia. She is really fast but I hope tomorrow to be able to at least finish one race in first. I'm having a lot of Fun !!! and it's great to have all this different kids from other countries in my Club."

Deurry Mavimbe, Mozambique Photo © Nuno Reis

The legacy of the Games will be that over 50 Optimists will remain in Mozambique and, with the added inspiration of this medal, it is hoped that the country will be the latest in Africa to expand sailing.

| Results Optimist Female | Results Optimist Male |

| ISAF web report | AAG Club Website |