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Register now for USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival at Pensacola Yacht Club

by Talbot Wilson 12 May 2018 13:10 BST 29 June - 1 July 2018
The USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival at Pensacola Yacht Club June 29-July1 offers racing in Laser classes, Club 420's and International Optimist Dinghies © Talbot Wilson

Pensacola Yacht Club's Fleet Captain, Hal Smith, has announced the dates and format for the annual 2018 USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival... the JO's. Clinics and event check-in and late registration will be on June 29th. Racing for Lasers, Club 420's and Optimists is scheduled for June 30th and July 1st. The Notice of Race and entry forms are available at

Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) has made the JO's an annual special event for youth sailing for almost two decades. This year will be no exception. Young Optimist Dinghy sailors will use this regatta as a training event for the Optimist Nationals scheduled at PYC July 13-22. In that week, some 400 sailors, 8-15 years old, will be racing for the top Opti prizes on Pensacola Bay in the four-day overall Optimist National Championship, the Optimist Girls National Championship, and the three-day Optimist Team Racing National Championship.

Opti Red, Blue and White Fleet assignments for the JO's will be based on the competitor's age on the first sailing day of the regatta. Older sailors who have 'aged out' of the famous eight-foot prams, the largest one design class in the world, may compete solo in Lasers and in the two-person Club 420's. Both Laser and Club 420 classes are stepping-stones to Olympic competition.

On Friday the 29th, race clinics will be held for all sailors in Optis, Lasers and Club 420's to warm up for the USA Junior Olympics.

Seasoned Opti sailors, including those training for the Nationals, will sail on the same official Optimist trapezoid course that will be set for the Nationals July13th-22nd. Less experienced and younger Opti skippers will race on a 'Green Fleet' course set just for them. Lasers and the 420's could sail either the trapezoid course or windward-leeward courses. Sailing Instructions issued at check-in will further define which course each class will sail.

Cesar Travado, PYC's Sailing Director hired in 2017, is stepping right into a very busy time at the club. "I am setting up new training classes and developing sailing school schedules for the spring and summer targeting the JO's and Optimist Nationals," Travado said. "PYC will have an active 'Green Fleet' of beginners and a team of advanced sailors to enter the JO's and Opti Nationals. We are going all out to put quality sailors in these regattas."

The Notice of Race includes the following Schedule of Events:

Friday June 29, 2018

0900-1600 Clinics for Opti and Opti Green, 420 and Laser
1500 – 1800 Early Check-in for Coaches and Sailors
1730- Mandatory Race Committee Meeting
1800- Mandatory Safety Committee Meeting

Saturday June 30, 2018

0730 – 0830 Continental Breakfast and Check-in
0845 Opening Ceremony
0900 Skippers, Coaches and Parents Meeting (Mandatory)
1155 First Warning
Lunch on the water

Sunday July 1, 2018

0730 – 0830 Continental Breakfast
1055 First Warning
Lunch on the water
1500 No first Warning Signal after this time
After Racing— Awards Ceremony

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