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Italian Oppies

by Unknown - 00:30 on 20 April 2012

Lake Garda sailing success for Calum C, Nairn Sailing Club

Calum C, age 10, competed in the 30th Annual Lake Garda Optimist Regatta held this month in Italy, becoming the first competitor to represent the new Nairn Sailing Club Junior Dinghy Section in an international competition.  The event achieved a Guinness World Record with 1070 children from over 40 countries participating at the Fraglia Vela Riva Yacht Club, making it the largest single class sailing regatta ever held. Even so, Calum was the only Scot, joining  a group of young sailors from England and Bermuda to make up the GBR entry.

Calum arrived in Italy early and joined a Danish coaching camp, racing in a 3 day training regatta against the Danes, Estonians and Fins. Calum sailed with determination and was delighted to win the Sailing Garda Denmark Cadetti Cup in this, his first competition outside Scotland. Calum was enthusiastically welcomed and cheered by his Baltic competitors for his success, putting Scottish youth sailing and Nairn firmly on the map!

The main Lake Garda Optimist Regatta then got underway, and Calum continued to race hard against the huge international fleet. After 6 races over 4 days, he nearly finished in the top third of the young Cadettis. The cold windy conditions of Lake Garda in spring were very no problem for the young Scottish sailor, but the spectacular size of the fleet was a new experience, with hundreds of dinghies jostling competitively for space on every start line. Sailors from Turkey and from Italy took top honours, and GBR's Intermediate Squad member Vita Heathcote, sailed to 3rd place overall and 1st girl, a great achievement for her.

“I had a great time sailing and making friends with other sailors from all over the world. Lake Garda is a fantastic place to sail because it is so windy and the mountains are enormous cliffs which rise straight up from the lake. The racing was extremely fun and exciting and I improved a lot over the 8 days. I feel really lucky to have had the chance to go to Italy and take part in this. I said I would see them again next year and I really hope that I will."

Calum is aided by Nairn Sports Council, and is a member of the RYA North of Scotland Sailing Squad. He will be participating in a new fundraising initiative by Nairn Sailing Club to raise money for an additional safety boat which will enable the Junior dinghy racers to train in the exposed conditions of the Moray Firth as well as the more sheltered water of Whiteness. For more info about this and the upcoming NSC Open Day contact Maureen, email: eastwoodinnairn@hotmail.co.uk.

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