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On Thursday, January 27, 2011, the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) Alan Usher met with sailing enthusiasts in San Pedro to advance the development of an Optimist Dinghy Club on the island. An interim committee was formed with Milo Paz in the Chair and Andrew Milner of the San Pedro Sailing Club. Other interested persons include Roberto Guerrero and Forrest Jones.

Another meeting will be convened to involve more of the community to formalize the club and take advantage of the Belize Sailing Association full membership in the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA). Funding is being sought to purchase five race certified Optimist Dinghy from the authorized manufacturer. The IODA has committed to fund a sixth Optimist for the San Pedro Club.

The San Pedro ODC has been offered a space on a series of BzSA organized training course that are run by Royal Yacht Association officials at the British Forces Training Centre on St. George’s Caye as a first step toward bringing sailing to an internationally competitive level in Belize. A call was made to Mayor Elsa Paz who endorsed the effort with the full support of the San Pedro Town Council.

Optimist Clubs are being formed in Belize City and Belmopan with interest shown in Dangriga and Corozal. The Optimist is the smallest internationally recognized class of sail boat designed especially for youth 9 to 15 years of age. There are over 300,000 registered sailors worldwide, 130,000 registered boats in 95 countries.

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