Please select your home edition
Edition
MS Amlin 2019 - 728x90
Product Feature
RYA Optimist Coach Handbook
RYA Optimist Coach Handbook

27th International Optimist Regatta kicks-off this week

by Carol Bareuther 10 Jun 11:25 BST 10-16 June 2019
26th International Optimist Regatta at St. Thomas Yacht Club © Event Media

A near-record 114 8- to 15-year-old sailors from five continents will race 8-foot long single-sail Optimist dinghies in the TOTE Maritime Clinic, today through July 12, the TOTE Maritime Team Race, June 13, and International Optimist Regatta (IOR), presented by Electronic Merchant System (EMS) Virgin Islands, June 14-16.

This trio of events is the largest annual little boat regatta in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Caribbean. What makes it unique is the combination of instruction, team and fleet racing all in one week, which includes beginners and advanced sailors alike. What's more, this year the event welcomes near-record international participation with sailors representing 13 countries: Antigua, Argentina, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malta, Puerto Rico, the USA and all three U.S. Virgin Islands.

"We're pleased to welcome this number of international sailors, which means another excellent year, great competition and an opportunity for our junior competitors to renew and make new friendships," says Hollis Jenkins, regatta director. "Now in its third decade, we are very proud that several past winners and participants of the IOR, presented by EMS Virgin Islands, have gone on to become college All-Americans, and on the world sailing stage, first ranked match racers, one-design class world champions, Olympians and team members of America's Cup campaigns."

Two sailors to especially watch this year are Richard Schultheis, representing the Malta Young Sailors Club, in San Pawl il-Bahar, Malta, and Tommie Sitzmann, who sails for the Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville, Virginia, USA. Schulthesis finished fourth and Sitzmann fifth overall in the Gold Fleet at the 2018 Optimist World Championships in Limassol, Cyprus. This is Schulthesis first competition in the IOR and Sitzmann returns from last year, where he finished third overall in the 2018 IOR. The USA sailor will be joined at this event by other members of the U.S. National Worlds Team including Thommie Grit (Sarasota Yacht Club, Florida), Gil Hackel (Lauderdale Yacht Club, Florida), Jack Redmond (Lauderdale Yacht Club, Florida) and Samara Walshe (Edgartown Yacht Club, Massachusetts).

Another international sailor to watch will be Benjamin Guzman. Guzman, representing CNP Algarrobo, in Chile, finished third overall at the 2019 Optimist South American Championships in April, in Chile.

These sailors and the rest of the championship fleet will be up against tough competition from U.S. Virgin Islands sailors, including those who will represent Team ISV at the 2019 Optimist World Championships in Antigua in July. These are Tanner Krygsveld from St. Thomas, Winn Majette and Alejo Di Blasi from St. John, and Milo Miller and JJ Klemplen from St. Croix.

The TOTE Maritime Clinic, which started today in perfect sailing conditions, is run by top international coaches, who drills sailors on starts, tactics, and strategy. These coaches are: Esteban Rocha (Lauderdale yacht Club), Manny Resano (California yacht Club), Mike Dowd (Colie Elite Racing Team), Bernat Gali (Lakewood yacht Club), Omari Scott (Coral Reef yacht Club), Mykel Alonso (Coral Reef yacht Club), Pepe Betini (LISOT), Santiago Galan (St. Croix yacht Club), and from St. Thomas yacht Club: Argy Resano, Greer Scholes, Rayne Duff, Thomas Walden, Teddy Nicolosi and Chris Sharpless.

Over a dozen teams are expected for the TOTE Maritime Team Race, on June 13th. Entry fee for this one-day event is $160 per team of 4 sailors. Registration is available only on-site from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 12th.

The IOR, presented by EMS Virgin Islands, is hosted by the Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA), sanctioned by the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA), and takes place June 14-16.

"Boating plays a huge role in our lives here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sailing, specifically, provides our young sailors with a discipline that will stay with them for life. Grit, confidence, responsibility...the list is endless. We, at EMS Virgin Islands, are proud sponsors of the IOR and look forward to an exciting event this year," says Cobia Fagan, owner, EMS Virgin Islands.

Social activities include the Parade of Nations and Welcome Party on June 13 and Father's Day Brunch and Awards Ceremony on June 16.

Trophies will be awarded to the top five sailors in each fleet and top three overall. Additional trophies include the Peter Ives' Perpetual Trophy, the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Award and the top female sailor. The Sea Star Perpetual Trophy will be inscribed with the names of the sailors on the winning team racing team. A new Perpetual Trophy, introduced in 2017, is inscribed with the overall winners from the past 26 years.

This year's event will follow an eco-friendly theme. Sailors will be encouraged to recycle all plastic water bottles, use the reusable water bottle in the goodie bag throughout the regatta, keep all lunch bags and wrapping out of the water, pick up any trash on shore and accept drinks without straws.

The IOR is sponsored by EMS Virgin Islands, TOTE Maritime, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, and K3 Waterproof Gear.

For more information, call (340) 513-2234, Email: . Or, for the Notice of Regatta, Registration Form and Results, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club web site at www.styc.club or www.regattanetwork.com

Please also visit the International Optimist Regatta on Facebook!

Related Articles

One Design PROtect Tapes
A set of cut pieces tailored to your class PROtect Tapes are a broad range of high-quality protection tapes for dinghies, racing, cruising and super yachts. PROtect Tapes provides a pro-active solution to chafe and wear prevention. It enhances performance and ultimately promotes safer sailing. Posted on 10 Oct
THA takes team racing and individual titles
HKG first IODA medal The IODA Asian & Oceanian Worlds 2019 wrapped up yesterday, with Panwa Boonnak (THA) scooping the Overall title on 14 points from 10 races. It was a dominating performance – there was only one race in which he was not on the podium, Posted on 7 Oct
2019 Optimist Asian & Oceanian Championship
Youth sailors applauded as the evebt concludes in Oman A highly competitive 2019 Optimist Asian and Oceanian Championship came to an end in Oman on Sunday with a celebratory prize-giving and closing ceremony at Mussanah Sports City. Posted on 6 Oct
2019 Optimist Asian & Oceanian Championship day 2
Oman has put on a spectacular welcome for young sailors from 21 nations The regional Optimist Asian & Oceanian Championship includes large contingents from Australia, Bahrain, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Iraq, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the UAE. Posted on 5 Oct
2019 Optimist Asian & Oceanian Championship day 1
Young racing sailors from 21 countries have taken to the water World-class youth sailors showed their skills and determination at the start of a week of high-intensity sailing at the showcase International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) event being held at Mussanah Sports City. Posted on 3 Oct
Oman welcomes sailors for international regatta
Oman puts on a spectacular welcome for young sailors Al Mussanah Sports City is the venue for the International Optimist Dinghy Association's prestigious showcase event, which will see a week of high-intensity racing featuring 141 of the world's best youth sailors. Posted on 3 Oct
Want to join the P&B/Winner Team?
Looking for the very best up and coming Optimist sailors P&B are looking for the very best up and coming sailors to join the 2020 P&B/Winner Optimist Team. Posted on 1 Oct
Optimists at Dalgety Bay
SailingFast Scottish Traveller Series during RYA Scotland Youth & Junior Regional Championships This year's Youth and Junior Regional Championships were on the 21st & 22nd September, held at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, a beautiful venue just to the east of the Forth Bridges. Posted on 29 Sep
HISC Youth Open Race Week
Almost 200 children take part at Hayling Island Running the same week as Cowes, the HISC Youth Race Week sailors did not shy away from a strong breeze, but instead embraced the excess of 20 knots winds and the exciting waves caused by wind against tide. Posted on 28 Sep
Optimist Midland Area Championship
Final traveller event in the Midland Optimist Series Beautiful blue skies, with a light easterly breeze greeted the 19 young helms to Gailey Reservoir, as South Staffs Sailing Club hosted the Optimist Midland Area Championships and final traveller event in the Midland Optimist Series for 2019. Posted on 27 Sep