Virtual Ceremonies Opens 2021 Asian & Oceanians
The first virtual Opening Ceremonies in the history of the Optimist Class took place at the 2021 Asian & Oceanian Championsihp. Due to the strict COVID restrictions under which the event is taking place, a physical opening ceremonies was out of the question. It was orchestrated through Facebook live to take place at two locations, from Bangkok and the Royal Varuna Yacht Club,
Teams gathered in the boat park prior for the Opening for the official team photo before team paraded into the lower verandah of the RVYC
Speaking from a virtual stage in Bangkok, Radab Kanchanavanit, Master of Ceremonies and former Optimist sailor, or as he joked, “possibly the oldest ex-Optimist sailor in Thailand”, opened the event noting, “Under the Covid-19 situation, we have to be in compliance with the government’s measures to keep everyone safe and healthy while staying under organizational quarantine.
President of IODA Kevin Whitcraft sent his greetings by video from afar: “I wish to thank everyone for coming in these difficult COVID times and to thank the RVYC, a place close to my heart, where I learned to sail, where I grew up, where I continue to be a member and still participate. I especially want to thank the members, organizing committee, commodore for all the great work they’ve done in making this event possible. For IODA having the ability to host these championships in difficult times is very important we believe in the future of sailing so enjoy yourself, compete well, sail by the rules and have a great time.”
Commodore of the RVYC, Nithipat Thansrikiat welcomed guests to Royal Varuna Yacht Club. “Our club has hosted your previous world championship and this year we are proud to host you again at our club for this event. I hope you have fair wind, good competition and enjoy our country.”
The traditional Sailor’s Declaration was read by RVYC and Thai national Optimist sailor Grace Montgomery broadcasting from the event venue. Natalia Chubenko from Russia, chair of the International Jury, read the Official’s Declaration.
Vice Admiral Chatchai Thongsaard, representative of YRAT President Admiral Naris Pathumsuwan, then declared the championship open as young sailors raised the Optimist class flag above the club and rang the bell.
Racing commences tomorrow with a 12:00pm start time. All competitors will be racing in one fleet for 4 days of fleet racing. Day three of the championship will the 2021 Asian & Oceanian Team Racing Championship.
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