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Annapolis Yacht Club coach chosen to lead national team

Tomas Ruiz de LuqueWAnnapolis Yacht Club’s Optimist Head Coach, Tomas Ruiz de Luque, has been selected as one of two coaches to take 15 U.S. Optimist Dinghy sailors to the 30th Magic Marine Easter Regatta in The Netherlands this spring.

The U.S. Optimist Dinghy Associations International Committee handpicked Ruiz de Luque along with seven other coaches from 71 applicants that included coaches from all over the United States. He will be coaching with Richard Feeny, a sailing educator and coach from Rhode Island.

“It’s an honor to be named among the other coaches, because they’re some of the best coaches in the country,” Ruiz de Luque says. “To be one of the eight in this international events selection is amazing. It speaks highly of the ACY Junior Program, without which it wouldn’t have been possible for me to do this.”

The eight coaches selected will work in pairs to train their respective teams, which comprise 15 of the top 60 Optimist Dinghy sailors who had qualified at the USODA Midwinter Championship in New Orleans, La. over Thanksgiving weekend.

Each team will then represent the U.S. at one of the four international regattas including one in Spain, one in Italy, one in Peru and the one in The Netherlands. The coaches and sailors were given the opportunity to choose which regatta they would prefer to participate in but the USODA makes the final decision.

Ruiz de Luque says he chose to coach at the 30th Magic Marine Easter Regatta because he had never been to Holland.

“I also liked the idea of getting to know new sailors and helping them learn and perform to the best of their abilities,” he says.

Ruiz de Luque’s “dedication and hard work has definitely made a clear impact on the AYC Junior Program and it’s nice to see the USOCA recognize Tomas for that,” says AYC Sailing Director Joel Labuzetta.

In the coming weeks, Ruiz de Luque will learn who he will be training and in February, he will head to the Coral Reef yacht Club in Miami for U.S. National Team Practice. The 30th Magic marine Easter Regatta in The Netherlands will be held March 29-April 7, 2015.

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