Record-breaking edition with almost 1.400 participants from 33 countries, including Japan and Mexico for the first time

Wed, 21/03/2018

The Lake Garda Optimist Meeting (28th March – 1st April) of Riva del Garda celebrates ever more the youth sailing sharing the values of nature and sport

Thanks to the synergy with Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, the Garda Wind Garda Village offers entertainment on land with special stands for shopping, movement, tasting and amusement

Fraglia Vela Riva – the sailing club of Riva del Garda (north shore of Lake Garda, Trentino), which in 2018 celebrates its 90th anniversary – is proud to organise the 36th edition of the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting, exclusive event for the youth sailing reserved to the Optimist class, approved by the Italian Sailing Federation (FIV). The event has won the Guinness World Record® for the largest sailing regatta of a single class in 2012 with 1.055 participants: this figure has been exceeded in the following editions. As usual, the event will take place in Garda Trentino during the Eastern week (28th March – 1st April) and it will attract hundreds of baby sailors, aged 9-15, from 32 countries. This year the club expects more almost 1.400 sailors.

The event will officially kick off on Wednesday March 28th with the 4th edition of the Country Cup, a special kind of regatta in Olympic-style, in which only one representative per country can compete. Denmark (2) and Germany (1) won the past editions. Later on Wednesday evening, the enchanting Opening Ceremony will take place with all the sailors, who will walk through the downtown of Riva del Garda waving the flags of their countries led by the marching band. The fleet races divided into heats per each division (Cadets 9-11 years and Juniors 12-15 years) will take place from Thursday March 29th until Sunday April 1st. The most represented countries are Germany, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Norway, Russia, Hungary. Australia, Brazil, Canada, the United States and – for the first time Japan and Mexico are the oversea nations of the 2018 edition. The event highlights will be broadcasted on live streaming by sector’s journalists.

The event is organised by Fraglia Vela Riva and Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, fair and congress agency of Trentino, which makes available the buildings Palavela, Palameeting and Palacongressi for the perfect logistics, also organising Garda Wind Garda Village. This synergy between Fraglia Vela Riva and Riva del Garda Fierecongressi, two local excellence bodies, aims to boost year on year this event - already certified by the Guinness World Records, in order to allow tourists and the participants’ families to experience the values shared by culture and sport on the background of the beauties and excellences of our area, just few steps away from the centre of Riva del Garda and directly on the lakeside walk. It will be a 100% green experience. The event is promoted by Province of Trento, the local tourist information agency Garda Trentino, with the recognition of the local Olympic Committee. The technical partners supporting the event are Kinder + Sport (Joy of moving activities), Acqua Pejo, Montura (sports equipment), Silverrace (silver awards) and Expand Pouf.


A GPS tracking system provided by will be available in order to follow the regattas at best even from home and on your device. Each boat, buoy and Committee vessel will have a GPS device and it will be possible to follow their course during the entire regatta on the final day of the event on Sunday April 1st, both for Cadets and Juniors Gold fleets.

The live streaming by will also be available allowing sailors’ friends and relatives to watch the event worldwide. A big screen will be installed in Palameeting for those who will be in Riva del Garda, where it will be possible to follow the races living the highlights of this Guinness World Records’ event.


The High Schools Sacra Famiglia of Brenzone and ITET Giacomo Floriani of Riva del Garda will collaborate in the running of the ground activities thanks to the commitment of the students of Liceo scientifico Sportivo, specialized in sailing and mountain biking, two of the main sporting disciplines of Garda Trentino. Moreover, the Fraglia Vela Riva’s members and parents will provide their paramount support in dealing with boat trailers and the preparation and hand out of welcome bags.

Giancarlo Mirandola, Fraglia Vela Riva President: “Our pride is the awareness to let so many young boys and girls live an experience that will be kept among the best memories of their young age with the same passion year after year (witnessed by the comments of some grown-up participants). The Meeting winners and also all the other sailors do remember it as a special event. Moreover, many of them kept on their sporting career in an excellent way with Olympic participations and medals, America’s Cups, and earlier with medals at the Youth Worlds. For us, all this is a incentive to pursue our mission, which is not given to big organising event companies, but it is carried out by lots of voluntaries, parents, members and students, who together with some sector’s professionals create an event worthy of the Guinness World Records.

It has to be a celebration for the workers and those who help in some many ways dedicated to those fond of sailing, nature and those who respect our area appreciated worldwide. Last week some magazines based in New York contacted us asking for action pictures also displaying the cliffs rising sheer from the lake. We who live here are used to it, but those who arrive in our area for the first time are stunned by such a beauty and enjoy the possibility to discover the area and enjoy the regatta in an eco-friendly way, walking or riding a bike, a kick scooter or a skateboard to reach the clubhouse in the morning for the races. Almost 1.300 sailors with their families will go back home with Garda Trentino and the welcoming spirit of Fraglia Vela Riva in their hearts, known worldwide for its passion and commitment in the regatta organisation. However, this year we would like to add a plus also on land for the audience: a series of entertaining activities, besides the shopping village, to go beyond the sailing world. The side events will take place in Palameeting and will be open to everybody. Great attention will also be payed to coaches, who every year come with their athletes to our regattas, but also for training sessions during the season. This is a resource for the area under both an economic and social point of view.”




Special activities dedicated to coaches - an evolving profession, link between clubs, families and athletes

The Lake Garda Optimist Meeting is not only a sporting event: given the massive participation of the sailors’ families with parents and friends, a series of entertaining activities has been planned along with shopping, tasting, movement and amusement at the Garda Wind Garda Village, which will be set up in the area between Fraglia Vela Riva, Palavela, Palameeting and Palacongressi – the fair buildings managed by Riva del Garda Fiere Congressi. This partnership enhances the event thanks to these activities that go beyond sailing.


The Palameeting will host sporting activities and games: Kinder + Sport will be present making everybody experience the “Joy of moving”, thanks to the support of skilled coaches, who will guide you in the games with the aim of developing physical and cognitive skills connected to movement. A multisport area will also be available in the same hall. Kinder +Sport shares the same vision of sporting growth of the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting: Kinder +Sport Joy of Moving is tailor-made for children using games to let them play naturally also sports (physical activities). The project is based on entertainment rather than on the achievement of the result: the goal is having fun captivating all children with no exclusion, open also to families. Kinder +Sport Joy of Moving is active worldwide with important qualified partners as Olympic Committees, National authorities, Sporting Federations, Clubs, Governments and Universities. It supports sporting education programs, school championships and the organisation of events for the youngsters. Moreover, it supplies schools with sporting equipment and organises multisport camps to promote sport in the young age, collaborates with athletes and former sportsmen in order to promote research projects to raise awareness towards the benefits of active lifestyles.


The shared values and knowledge connected with the sporting challenges will be available on land after the races at the Palameeting! The young sailors will have the chance to take on the challenge to complete a time obstacle course, like the Ninja Warriors - a modern version of the Games Without Frontiers. The Palameeting will also host many other side events, as the Pizza, Pasta and Nutella Parties, and to take a break or spend time with friends during spare time. Garda Trentino and Trentino Marketing (destination marketing organisations) will present the project Digital Mosaik: the virtual reality to “live your adventure everywhere”. Fit & Fun: the two key words at the Garda Wind Garda Village!


There will surely be some time to relax and shop at the Garda Wind Garda Village: technical equipment and special products for Optimist, bags made of sails and the essential sun glasses for outdoor activities.


During the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting a forum for coaches - the first real wind promoters, will kick off. They will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences and needs regarding wind and sailing with professional coaches.

Following the guideline of the Garda Wind Garda’s first edition, when several elements connected to wind were enhanced, this year’s focus will be on the coaches participating in the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting (about 200) to set the path for the future with education activities, methods, skills of the food, law and commercial sectors aiming at an optimised development of the profession and the sailors’ performance.

On Saturday March 31st the Coach Evening will take place in the ‘Sala 1000’ at Palazzo dei Congressi (Palacongressi): an easy buffet dinner will be the key moment of the activities dedicated to the coaches, who during the whole event will benefit from a lounge area at Palameeting, where they can share technical aspects and much more.

Roberto Pellegrini, President of Riva del Garda Fierecongressi: Riva del Garda Fierecongressi aims to support and promote the economy of the area with satellite activites directly or third partly organised. This is not just a mission, but a real vocation, which pushes us to cooperate with important subjects as Fraglia Vela Riva. This synergy has allowed to offer an added value to the participants and chaperons of the Meeting, who every year come to Riva del Garda for this renowned event. The figures of the 36th edition highlight its importance. This year’s edition offers a solid schedule of activities on land in the buildings of the fair district, including Palavela and Palameeting.”



Video teaser:

Guinness World Records’ Certificate:









Photos and videos will be available on the following channels:

Playlist YOU TUBE Meeting del Garda Optimist 2018/GWG:

Photo gallery: