On behalf of all of the members of the IODA Executive Committee, the Technical and Regatta Committees, as well as the IODA Secretariat, we would like to wish all of our members, sailors, stakeholders, families & Opti friends far and wide a healthy and safe holiday season.
Although 2020 was a tough year with COVID 19, there are so many things that we can be grateful for.
As we reflect on the challenges of the COVID pandemic and its effect on our lives over this past year, we can be grateful for the times that we did get out on the water. Sharing the Optimist experience is what keeps us together. It is the friends that we make doing something what we love that builds a community.
Although we only were able to host one IODA Championship this year, we are grateful to our friends in Slovenia for taking on the challenge of hosting 269 sailors from 34 nations for the 2020 European Championship in October. We are grateful for so many sailors, coaches, parents, volunteers, and officials that made a huge effort to travel and participate in this event. As a tribute to this effort, our 2020 Season's Greeting Card contains selected images from the 2020 European Championship.
IODA is so very grateful that our Members continued to support the Optimist Class by ensuring that local training and racing took place while implementing COVID mitigation protocols. Traveling to events was restricted so making it happen locally was so important this year to keep sailors engaged.
We are grateful to all of the young Opti sailors whose enthusiasm and passion for the Optimist was evident in their numerous submissions for the #beanoptimist campaign, or for those who took part in a virtual Optimist Regatta, and when possible, got out on the water to sail and race. We were able to capture much of your activity on Facebook and Instagram throughout the year.
The challenges of COVID also forced us to hold our first virtual AGM in October. We are grateful that our members supported this and with a record number of attendees, we were able to make all of the necessary decisions to keep the organization moving forward.
We are also grateful to work with such an amazing group of event organizers in 2020, who all had to make tough decisions on the hosting of our IODA events. We are so grateful for all their time and effort to try and make our events happen in so many parts of the world.
COVID 19 has also had a devastating effect on the sailing industry due to the decrease in activity which has effected the manufacture and sale of boats. We are so grateful for our many builders who supported the Optimist Class and continued to support local events and sailors throughout the year.
As we turn the page on 2020, we are looking forward to 2021 with great enthusiasm. Most of our IODA Championships are being held in the latter part of the year, so we are hopeful that with the COVID vaccines being launched over the coming months that all our events will be fully attended.
The anticipation of the World Championship in Lake Garda will be finally realized as our Members at the AGM in October voted to move the venue of the 2020 World Championship to 2021 and the World Championship in TUR to 2022. It reflected a tremendous spirit of cooperation with our Members.
We wish you all a healthy, peaceful, and joyous holiday with family and friends and look forward to seeing you on the water or at an IODA Championship in 2021.
Until then, stay healthy and safe!!