Please select your home edition
Edition
Cyclops Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Team USA Worlds wins 2019 TOTE Maritime Team Race, IOR kicks-off Friday

by Carol Bareuther 14 Jun 2019 03:52 BST 10-16 June 2019
Team USA Worlds - 2019 International Optimist Regatta © Dean Barnes

Dialing in the right combination of scores proved the secret to success for Team USA Worlds, who won the TOTE Maritime Team Racing Championships on Thursday. The Championships are one of a trio of events sailed this week out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) and were prefaced by the three-day TOTE Maritime Clinic and followed by the 27th International Optimist Regatta, presented by Electronic Merchant Systems (EMS) Virgin Islands, Friday through Sunday.

Fourteen teams of five sailors each participated in the TOTE Maritime Team Racing Championships. In exciting racing, the champion title came down to a best of three contest between Team USA Worlds and the CRYC team. Team USA Worlds won the first race, CRYC the second, meaning the champion title came down to who won the third and final race. In the end, Team USA Worlds proved triumphant. It was an incredible effort as the five sailors, all highly skilled, had never raced together before as a team. Team members were Thommie Grit (Sarasota Yacht Club, Florida), Gil Hackel (Lauderdale Yacht Club, Florida), Jack Redmond (Lauderdale Yacht Club, Florida), Samara Walshe (Edgartown Yacht Club, Massachusetts) and Tommie Sitzmann (Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville, Virginia).

"We had never sailed against the other team and didn't know how good they were. They were pretty good," says Walshe.

"On that last race, we had a good start and were in the right combination," says Redmond. "The key is to have an unstoppable combination of scores. We had that in the last race."

Some 114 7- to 15-year-old sailors, in both championship and beginner fleets and representing 13 nations - Antigua, Argentina, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malta, Puerto Rico, the USA and all three U.S. Virgin Islands - started the week by training in the three-day TOTE Maritime Clinic held June 10 to 12. Top local and international coaches ran the Clinic.

"I was really able to improve in my starts. That was one of the best parts of the clinic, That, and meeting lots of new people," says 14-year-old Julia Jacobsen, representing the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Jacobsen added that she and her family traveled nearly halfway around the world to St. Thomas as they felt the IOR would offer an excellent tune-up opportunity before the Optimist World Championships next month in Antigua.

The clinic ended with a Volvo Ocean-style race, where sailors completed four legs around the east end of St. Thomas.

"It was like sailing 4 separate races because each leg was scored individually," tells 12-year-old Tanner Krygsveld, from St. Thomas, who won the event and who with Winn Majette and Alejo Di Blasi from St. John, and Milo Miller and JJ Klemplen from St. Croix, will represent the territory at the Optimist Worlds. "Local knowledge really helped."

This is the 11th consecutive year that TOTE Maritime have sponsored both the Clinic and Team Race.

"We are honored to again be a part of this wonderful event, which unites youth sailors from several countries each year and allows these sailors to develop skills through sportsmanship that will serve them well in the future. We look forward to continuing hosting the IOR clinics and team race events for many more years," says Reinaldo Seijo, account executive for TOTE Maritime Agency USVI.

The 27th IOR/EMS gets under way Friday. The near-record 114 junior sailors are represented by both Championship and Beginner fleets. The Championship fleet is divided into age groups: White (age 10 and under), Blue (ages 11 and 12), and Red (ages 13 to 15). The race committee plans to run 10-plus races over the next three days, depending on weather. To kick-off the event, the sailors all took part in a Parade of Nations, led by a colorfully clad stilt-walking Mocko Jumbie.

"We are always happy to support events at the St. Thomas Yacht Club," says Alani Henneman Todman, director of communications at the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, who attended the Parade of Nations. "Sailing is a sport that builds character, strength and confidence and that helps our sailors to be the next ambassadors for our territory."

U.S. Virgin Islands Senator, Athneil 'Bobby' Thomas, a strong advocate for sports in the territory, especially the many Olympic sports represented such as sailing, was also on hand for the Parade of Nations.

"This event is a dream for sports tourism. This is especially true because the IOR focuses on the youth. This means there are years of potential ahead for them to remember the excellent time they enjoyed here and return again to renew old friendships and build new ones," says Senator Thomas.

The IOR, presented by EMS Virgin Islands, is hosted by the Virgin Islands Sailing Association (VISA) and sanctioned by the Caribbean Sailing Association (CSA).

An Awards Ceremony will take place 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, or, for the Notice of Regatta, Registration Form and Results, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club website at www.styc.club or www.regattanetwork.com

Please also visit the International Optimist Regatta on Facebook!

Related Articles

Fernhurst Books' Sail to Win series
Optimist Racing by Steve Irish & Phil Slater While we can't race at the moment, that's no reason not to try to improve. In this 10-week feature we will be providing an extract from each book in Fernhurst Books' Sail to Win series. Posted on 12 Jun
eSailing Eric Twiname Junior Championships
203 sailors from 6 classes take part with 12 making it to the live final RYA London and South East's Max Steele won the first ever virtual Eric Twiname Championships over the early May bank holiday, taking the title ahead of over 200 young racers. Posted on 10 May
Sail Smarts: Learn about clouds
Kids fun lockdown activity from the RYA This week we learn all about clouds with Jake. Try to learn the different types and what they mean. Posted on 22 Apr
38th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting update
Games are currently open for revised June date Fraglia Vela Riva sends a message of hope for what concerns the 2020 edition of the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting, originally expected to take place right in these days. Posted on 13 Apr
International Optimist Regatta cancelled
This difficult decision has been made in line with safety recommendations Organizers of the International Optimist Regatta (IOR), presented by EMS Virgin Islands, the TOTE Maritime Clinic and TOTE Maritime Team Race regret to announce the cancellation of the 2020 event. Posted on 8 Apr
Optimist World Championship 2020 postponed
Due to the Covid-19 emergency Given the current situation of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the International Optimist Dinghy Association, in agreement with the Organizing Committee of the 2020 Optimist World Championship has decided to postpone the event until a later date. Posted on 23 Mar
38th Garda Lake Meeting Optimist postponed
New date in June due to the global health emergency Due to the global pandemic COVID-19 that the Fraglia Vela Riva has decided to postpone the 38th edition of the Garda Lake Meeting Optimist. Posted on 17 Mar
OptiOrange Valencia 2020 overall
Titles went down to the wire with lead changes in most of the fleets On 8th March the third edition of the OptiOrange Valencia ended in style with three races for the gold fleet and two for silver and bronze fleets that were held in shifty light winds. Posted on 10 Mar
OptiOrange Valencia 2020 day 1
Fresh winds open the third edition of the event The third edition of the OptiOrange Valencia opened today, on 6th March, with the only race for all four fleets in up to 25 knots of westerly winds. Posted on 7 Mar
NeilPryde Sailing Team Riders announced for 2020
Representing a broad cross section across dinghy classes NeilPryde Sailing, the choice for high performance watersports clothing and accessories, is pleased to announce its Team Rider sponsorship line-up for 2020. Posted on 3 Mar