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Lake Garda - Sport & outdoor

GAN Optimist Team Day – Part 2

Interview with Marcello Meringolo - GAN Optimist Coach

Marcello, after sharing ‘how to train the GAN Optimist team’, can you tell us more about a typical day with GAN during this year’s test and competition sessions?

The meetups were 3 days long. We needed to make the most of it, and to do that in Riva del Garda we decided to anticipate athletic training, which took place between the outdoor spaces of the Residence Centro Vela and Porto San Nicolò.

Since the period is still uncertain, we divided the group into two to comply with protocols. The first group started at 7 am, the second at 7.45. Once breakfast and athletic training were completed, we went to the Fraglia Vela Riva club.

Activities in the water took place from 10 am to 5 pm, with a break directly on the boats if the weather conditions allowed it. At 5 pm we headed back to land with an hour off for the children, who were supposed to take a shower and get ready for a 45-minute athletic cool-down followed by a de-briefing session in the room made available to us. The day ended with dinner at 7.30pm.

Without breaks, we could have up to 15 hours of water activities in 3 days. Not bad!


The example you shared is of very busy days, where you maximize your time to the fullest. What services do you find ideal for the meetings you organize at Residence Centro Vela?

The choice to concentrate all the GANs in February/March fell on Riva del Garda because the location makes it possible to have 15/16 hours on the boats, thanks to the special weather conditions that Lake Garda offers, perfect for sailing!

We opted for the Residence Centro Vela as a base for our stay for several reasons. The first was the possibility to stay and work in safety, and this is saying something!

Other advantages? Being able to have the children stay in large apartments, the possibility of dining in the rooms with the services offered by the Residence Centro Vela, and the flexibility to structure the breakfast shifts. Having an exclusive room available for de-briefing, watching videos, discussing with the children is certainly another element in our favor!

The outdoor spaces also allowed us to carry out morning athletic training. The support of Residence Centro Vela was essential, with full services for sailing teams.

allenamento gan optimist
allenamento gan optimist lago di garda
allenamento gan optimist lago di garda

In the wake of the youth sector’s great results in recent years, what are the objectives for 2021 in view of the World Cup, and then for years to come? How do you see the future of Italian sailing, given the media attention that Luna Rossa and its victories have on the public?

The Luna Rossa was definitely an incredible boost! This year, barring surprises, we will have the Tokyo Olympics, and in 2024 we will have the Paris Olympics – two Olympics in 3 years! This will create further interest and I am convinced that the Luna Rossa stage will certainly lend a hand.

We hope that this year’s Olympic campaign, after two zero-medal events for Italy, will allow us to take something back home. The possibilities are there, we can’t deny it!

This year, the world championship in Riva del Garda will certainly bring a breath of fresh air. In all this, what do we expect for Italy?

It was an unusual year, obviously not just for us, but also for other countries.

Let’s say that our team is determined, so it will be up to them to be ready at the right time – especially mentally, knowing that they can give their best.

The ending is the consequence of the path you have chosen. I always say this – we can always ensure our maximum commitment. This is what the Italian team has done in recent years, and will also try to do at the World Championships in Riva del Garda.

If you want to read more interviews with Diego Romero and sailing, read here:

Sailboat training on Lake Garda

Athletic preparation for the sailing Olympics

Sailing on Lake Garda


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