Franco Sanchez (ARG) crowned 2021 South American Champion & David Coates (USA) Takes Overall
The 2021 Optimist South American Championship concluded on Friday, with two races completed in the final day of racing in legendary Mar del Plata, Argentina.
A total of 10 races were completed in the qualifying and final series. 155 sailors from 12 countries battled the huge seas and tricky sailing conditions to determine the 2021 Optimist South American Champion. It was challenging racing for everyone. Many will head home having experienced some of the toughest sailing conditions ever.
The strong team of sailors from the USA held the top three positions heading into the final day. The early leader in the championship, David Coates of the USA, had a spectacular final day with two second place finishes to put him comfortably in 1st place overall ahead of teammate Logan Mraz, the overall leader heading into the final day. Mraz had a 11th and 7th in the last two races and was fighting it out with Franco Sanchez, the Argentina National Champion, and his teammate Richard Sykes from the USA. Sanchez moved up from 4th to 3rd place overall on the final day with an 8th and 37th to become the 2021 Optimist South American Champion. Richard Sykes of the USA who had 1st and 19th came in 4th overall
In 5th place, was another American, James Pine who moved up one place from the day before with a 9th and 3rd. He was followed by Augustin Segovia of Chile in 6th with Ethan Thompson from Bermuda in 7th. Tomas Travaglini from Argentina followed in 8th place.
Rounding out the top ten were Cooper Keeves from the USA in 9th and top girl at the championship Julieta Benedetto Josef from Argentina in 10th. Second and third girls at the championship were teammates Francina Paz in 16th place overall and Catalina Verna in 21st.
For the Gold, Silver and Bronze results, go here.
It was a fantastic event hosted by the Club Náutico Mar Del Plata and organized by Matias Capazzano, the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, and his team of incredible volunteers. It took 18 months for this event to take place after being postponed in March 2020 due to the start of the Corona Pandemic and then cancelled later in the year.
Sigrid Beckmann, VP Americas summed up the event perfectly. “Its’ been and honour and joy to celebrate sailing, life and friendship with an amazing group of humans. Fabulous South American Optimist Championship 2021 comes to a close after almost a 2-year delay. Worth every second that we waited for it. Gracias Mar del Plata!”