A team of young sailors from Yacht Club Punta del Este competed in the 49er Junior World Championship in Gdynia, Poland, this July 2021.
Hernán Umpierre, 20, and Fernando Diz, 21, formed the Olympic team UD Sailing to race in the 49er Class, which has become increasingly popular since the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It is a highly demanding Class, with fast boats made for intrepid sailors.
Umpierre and Diz met many years ago, sailing Optimists at Yacht Club Punta del Este´s Sailing School. They competed in World and South American Championships, where they became close friends and decided to team up and start sailing professionally, first in the 29er Class and now the 49er—one of the most popular and attractive classes worldwide.
Throughout their short career participating in international events, the team has earned important achievements, including U21 European Champions, Vice Champions in the Spanish Open and Champions at Buenos Aires Sailing Week.
They are currently the only Uruguayan team competing in the 49er, fact that forced their decision to move to Spain, where they both attend the University of Cádiz. This life choice was vital for fleet training as well as proximity to the most important events for the class. Nonetheless, they never forget their roots and return to Maldonado, Uruguay, when they can to see their families, who support them in pursuing this challenging path as professionals in the sport. Punta del Este on Maldonado Bay also provides ideal conditions for high performance training. The combination of ocean and wind is so varied that sailors face different scenarios, broadening their skills and preparing them for any possible situation while competing abroad.
Mr. Guillermo Moreira, also Uruguayan, is the team´s Coach and accompanies them around the world. He said, “We´ve been training intensely sailing in Punta del Este, with the support of Yacht Club Punta del Este, to be in our best shape for the Junior World Championship 2021 in Gdynia, Poland, since it is our goal to make both our Country and Club proud.”
In July, the team won the Junior World Championship in Gdynia. One of their goals for the next few years is to participate in the Middle East Open World Championship and, of course, the Olympic Games 2024 in Paris.
“We are very grateful to our Sponsor Yacht Club Punta del Este, as well as for the support of Secretaría Nacional de Deportes and Intendencia Departamental de Maldonado, Uruguay. We couldn´t be happier and prouder to represent Uruguay, Punta del Este´s identity and the affection we receive from every one of you who motivate and help us in one way or another,” the team announced on their Instagram account. Follow them @ud_sailing
“From here on our objective is clear; to win an Olympic medal. We are focused and aware that it is a long, complex and highly difficult process, but we are confident in our capabilities and in the team that is always there to support us. Our minds are set on Paris and in qualifying next year, where we will be facing the best teams in the most competitive Class in the world,” said Moreira.