Sri Lanka’s Junior National Sailing Team, comprising seven boys and three girls, all under the age of 15, are currently representing their country in a week-long international Regatta in the Optimist class. The event commenced on October 30 and will run until November 4 under the auspices of the Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club.
The young team consists of Yusef Hazari, Kevaan de Costa, Minuga Hettigamage, Vonal Boteju, Luqman Aneeq, Muazzam Imtiaz, Haren Wickramathillake from Royal College, and Sohanya de Mel, Kyoshi Samarakkody, and Kyasha Samarakkody from Ladies’ College. Their training is
overseen by national sailing coach Krishan Janaka and assistant national coach Roshil Nishantha.
“We have been training the team in the Trincomalee seas and at the Mattakuliya Naval base. We are confident they will perform well,” remarked Krishan Janaka, Sri Lanka’s national sailing coach.
Due to the significant number of participants in this year’s event, the 2023 championships will feature three fleets instead of the usual two – Gold and Silver. Around 160 racers from across the globe, including countries like Sri Lanka, the USA, Australia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore,
New Zealand, China, India, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE, are expected to compete this year.
This event serves as the continental championship for Asian and Oceanian member nations associated with the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA).
The championship began with an opening ceremony on October 30, and a series of races are scheduled daily. The races will culminate with a closing ceremony on November 4. IODA oversees the international coordination of national Optimist associations, governing the regulations and development of Optimist sailing in each participating country.
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