By Joseph Mchekadona
Tanzania has been given the rights to host 2020 African Optimist Championships (AOC) where over 80 sailors from around the continent are expected to compete.
Representative of Tanzania Optimist Dinghy Association (Toda) Nelly Coelho said it is an honor for Tanzania to host the Sailing championships; and, preparations for the championships will commence soon.
According to her, the AOC is opportunity for local sailors who have been competed in many international competition events.
“We have been given a special honor to host the championships, hopeful many medals will remain here, am saying this because the country has many talented young sailors who can perform well at any event,” she said.
She also hailed three local young sailors who represented the country at the 15th edition of Africa Optimist Sailing Championships scheduled which took place in Alexandria, Egypt.
Optimist sailing is specifically for younger sailors between the ages of 7-15 years and it is organised by International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA).
The sailors who represented the country are Mussa Ngahama (15), Colman Tieszen (15) and Grace Stephen (10), the only female sailor in the team.
The trio was coached by Penny Alison, who doubles as Dar es Salaam Yacht Club trainer.
‘The young sailors performed well at the event , as the association we are very proud of them , we hope they (sailors )will be in the squad which will represent the country at the 2020 championships which we will host’ she said.
The official specifically praised Mussa Ngahama for performing well and emerged on the 21st position saying the young sailor would have done better if the winds were not light as locals are not used to light wind.
‘The wind was very light most of the days of the races so our sailors didn’t do very well as they are not light winded. But Mussa tried his best and when the wind picked up, he was 4th oveall in one race.
Total overall Mussa 21st position, we really thank him for the feat he achieved, she said.