News Pennant Campaign to Celebrate 6th Time Spain has Hosted the World Championship

Pennant Campaign to Celebrate 6th Time Spain has Hosted the World Championship

The 2023 Optimist World Championship is being hosted by the Club Vela Ballena Alegre from June 11th to 21st 2023.  It will be the 6th time in the history of the Optimist Class that the World Championship has been hosted by Spain and 20 years since the last time in 2003 in Gran Canaria. No other country has achieved this in the 6 decades of the World Championship.  

To commemorate this achievement, the World Championship organizers have created the ‘Pennant Campaign’ to celebrate with past venues throughout Spain that hosted the World Championship in 1979, 1986, 1993, 2000, 2003 and next year in 2023 in a series of online posts over a 6-week period. The ‘Pennant Campaign’ involves a past host club exchanging their club pennant with the one created for the 2023 World Championship.  They will all be on display at the venue next year.

The first World Championship that took place in Spain was in the year 1979 and was hosted by the The Arenys de Mar Yacht Club located in the Villa of Arenys de Mar, in the Maresme region, Barcelona. The club was founded in 1952, being the fourth oldest nautical club of Catalonia, and the oldest yacht club in Spain not located in a capital of province.  The Yacht Club continues to host Optimist Regattas today and has an active learn-to-sail program.

2023 is a special year for IODA.  It is the 50th anniversary of the Optimist becoming an International Class and the 60th Anniversary of the Optimist World Championship. Spain has been a member for 50 years and has played a pivotal role in the history and development of the Optimist class over the years.

Spain continues to play a significant role in the development of Optimist sailing in Europe by hosting three of the premier Optimist events each year:  the International Vila de Palamos Optimist Trophy for the past 32 yrs; the Torrevieja Euromarina Optimist International Trophy for the past 14 years; and a new event, the Opti Orange Valencia regatta for the past 4 years.    For each event, an upwards of 500 sailors participate every year and draw sailors from all over Europe and internationally.

In addition, Spain hosted the very successful 2021 Optimist European Championship in El Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz) last June, whereby 271 Sailors from 38 nations attended during the pandemic. The last time Spain hosted the Optimist European Championship was 20 years ago in 2001.

Along with the teams from almost 60 nations from around the globe, IODA is looking forward to coming back to Spain to celebrate our 50th Anniversary as an International Class and 60th Anniversary of the Optimist World Championship. 

We are confident that the organizers will host a very successful and memorable 2023 Optimist World Championship and we look forward to sharing the ‘Pennant Campaign’ with all our members.