News Oliver Holt (USA) Crowned the 2023 Optimist North American Champion - Enzo Ricardi (BRA) takes Overall

Oliver Holt (USA) Crowned the 2023 Optimist North American Champion - Enzo Ricardi (BRA) takes Overall

Antigua did not disappoint as it delivered five spectacular days of their legendary sailing conditions of wind, big seas and sunshine at the 2023 Optimist North American Championship that took place from July 2-9th, held at the Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and organized by the Antigua Yacht Club.  

123 sailors from 13 different countries in the Americas (10 from North America & 3 from South America) traveled to Antigua to test their skills against the top sailors in the region.  It was great to see AHO back at the championship after several years of being away.  One of our new members from PAN brought another sailor to the IODA Continental Championship,which is a sign that Optimist sailing is developing in the country. 

10 Fleet Races were completed over the 4 days of racing – 5 races in the Qualification Series and 5 races in the Finals.  Conditions were challenging for many sailors due to the large seas.

The sailors from South America, particularly from ARG who routinely sail in these types of conditions, dominated the top of the overall leaderboard. Seven of the top 10 sailors overall were from BRA or ARG.  After 10 races were completed,  it was a close battle that came down to the wire with 4 sailors finishing within 2 points of one another.

First overall at the 2023 Optimist North Americans was Enzo Ricardi (BRA).  He was just one point ahead of the top girl of the championship Lola Magali Varela Cardinali (ARG) following closely in second overall.  She was just one point ahead of 3rd place overall Oliver Holt (USA) who was tied in points with Lara Perry Rojo (ARG) the second girl of the Championship.   Oliver Holt (USA), who is from North America, was crowned the 2023 Optimist North American Champion.

Fifth overall was Gian Marco Piovanetti-Lopez (PUR) the second sailor from North America, who was awarded the silver medal behind Holts.  The bronze medal for the 2023 North American Championship went to John Hartley (USA) in 9th place overall, behind Felipe Fridrich (BRA) in 6th, Felipe Vincente (BRA) in 7th, and Juliana Magnani (ARG) , 3rd overall girl in the championship,  in 8th place.

Tenth Place and 4th overall girl at the championship was Juliana Borba Bastianelli (BRA).

The top 3 girls from North America were Eliza Denning (BAH) in 11th place overall with Isabella Calzadilla-Allora (PUR) in 12th overall and Elizabeth Xydas (USA) in 15th overall.

The gender requirements of the championship appear to be making an impact.  35% or 43 out of 123 sailors at the championship were girls.   In the top 20 places, 45% or 9 out of 20 were girls with the top girl taking a silver medal overall by just 1 point.

On Day 3 of the Championship, the competition shifts gears to host the 2023 Optimist North American Team Racing Championship (for the teams from North America) and the Nations Cup (for teams outside of North America).

14 Teams took place in the North American Team Racing Championship. USA fielded 3 teams, MEX, PUR, CAN and ISV fielded 2 teams each and BAH, BER and ANT each have one team.

After 30 races, PUR 1 defeated USA 1 in the final sail off to become the 2023 North American Team Racing Champions. 3rd in the team racing was BER who was defeated by PUR who went on to win the Team Racing Championship.

In the Nations Cup, BRA and ARG fielded 3 teams and URG fielded 2 teams.  After 20 races,  it was ARG 1 winning the Nations Cup by defeating fellow teammates ARG 2 in the sail-off followed by BRA 1 who defeated BRA2 in their round.

The closing ceremonies held at Nelson’s Dockyards was a huge celebration for all the sailors, teams and volunteers.  A special thank you to Karl James, the Chairman of the Organizing Committee who led a team of hardworking and dedicated volunteers from the Antigua Yacht in the organization and hosting the Optimist North American Championships for the 3rd time in less than 10 years.   This was in addition to hosting a very successful Optimist World Championship in 2019.

For a complete set of results, go here.

For additional information images and videos of the event, go to the Microsite found here.