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Optimist National Championship brings big time sailing to Pensacola

Optimist National Championship brings big time sailing to Pensacola. / Source: WEAR

Pensacola is hosting the 2018 Optimist National Championships.

It’s a huge deal in the sailing community. That was pretty clear from the welcome ceremonies Saturday in downtown Pensacola.

Over 300 young sailors will be competing, and they're coming from all over the country and all over the world.

England, Brazil, Australia are just some of the 12 foreign countries represented.

Boys and girls ages eight to 15 will compete in lots of different skill level divisions, and include some very elite young sailors. Four days of racing for the national championship starts Sunday out on Pensacola Bay.

An all-girls event and a team racing championship will follow, with eight days of racing in all.

In a big added bonus for the youngsters, some of the nation’s best professional sailors were in town for the welcome ceremonies. Team members from American Magic, who will represent the US in the next Americas Cup, were mingling and inspiring.

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