Tanzania's junior sailors set to head to Mozambique November 24

08Nov 2018
Joseph Mchekadona
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Tanzania's junior sailors set to head to Mozambique November 24

TANZANIA's national junior sailing team is set to jet off to Mozambique on November 24 to take part in this year's African Optimist Championships scheduled to start on the same date and end on December 2.

Junior sailors from East African countries take part in a recent competition in Mombasa, Kenya.

Tanzania Sailing Association (TSAA) president Philemon Nassari disclosed preparations for the team's departure are over.

The TSAA and Tanzania Optimist Dinghy Association are the main coordinators of the team' trip.

“We can now confirm that all preparations are through and the team will depart for Mozambique the same day the championships will begin, I'm happy that everything is in place," he said.

The sailors who will represent the country in the championships are Abdallah Amanzi, Colman Tieszen, Grace Stephens, Kulthum Kassinge, Shiko Constantine, Rebecca Mallozi, Paul Dauravas, Every Bald and Janet Nassari.

Officials accompanying the squad, according to Nassari, are coach Penny Alison and Nelly Coelho, who will be the leader of the delegation.

Nassari said the sailors, who are aged between 10 and 14, have been training at the Dar es Salaam Yatch Club to shape up for the championships.

The official said optimist sailing is specifically for young sailors between seven and 15 years and the competition is organized in conjunction with the International Optimist Dinghy Association.

Nassari said TSAA and Tanzania Optimist Dinghy Association are proud that five of the sailors are girls.

He noted this is the first time that the country is fielding a large number of female sailors in an international event.

He said having many girls in the team gears towards encouraging domestic female sailors to take the sport seriously, adding hopefully the country will, one day, have a female sailor who will participate in the Olympics.

"Our team is going to Mozambique for the African Optimist Championships, we are confident that it will perform well," he disclosed.

"I'm optimistic of success because the team has been training well and, out of the nine sailors, two of them are experienced as they have represented the country at other international events."

The official had earlier said that the African Optimist Association has asked the country to host the 2020 edition of the continental event.

He asked companies and organizations to help TSAA and Tanzania Optimist Dinghy Association so that the associations can successfully host the event.

He said on Tuesday preparations for the country to host the 2020 championships will start after the national junior team’s return from Mozambique.

Nassari said the International Optimist Dinghy Association is encouraging the development of the sport in Africa so as to improve sailing in the continent.

Tanzania has been competing in all of African Optimist Championships since 2005 and has hosted the event twice.