U.S. Optimist Dinghy National Team Prepares in Pensacola for World Championships

When Pensacola hosted training for the “American Magic” America’s Cup racing team, the city earned a reputation as the best-kept secret in sailing. Of course, when you earn a reputation, you’re not longer a secret, and the secret’s out.

This week, Pensacola hosts the Catalina 22 Nationals.

And for the past several weeks, the Pensacola Yacht Club hosted the U.S. Opti team preparing for the World Championships. And the team has a local touch.

Young sailors. Small boats. Big expectations. This is the U.S. team that will compete in the Optimist Dinghy World Championships in Italy, next month. The sailors, aged 12-14, were the top five finishers at the national trials. The U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association picked the Pensacola Yacht Club as the ideal site to prepare for the worlds at Riva Del Garda, Italy.

The team’s coach, Happy Alegre, raves about all that Pensacola offers in helping his team prepare.

“The location offers variable conditions,” he said. “The club has amazing facilities. The race course is right there. Once we launch, we’re within a few minutes of the racing area.”

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