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Early entry discount ends May 1 for 30th International Optimist Regatta, Clinic & Team Race

by Carol Bareuther 18 Apr 18:30 BST June 12-18, 2023
Optimists lined up on the beach at the St. Thomas Yacht Club in 2022 © Matias Capizzano

Want to tune-up for the Optimist North American Championships in Antigua & Barbuda in July? Or learn new tactics for a summer of racing? Or compete in the 30th anniversary of this event, whose past entrants read like a Who's Who of college all-Americans; national, continental, and world champions; America's Cup sailors, and Olympians.

Register now for the International Optimist Regatta (IOR), the TOTE Clinic, and TOTE Team Race. Early entry registration for the IOR is $300 through May 1; $350 after this date. The fee includes an event T-shirt, registration 'goodie' bag, and all meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday's Brunch. This trio of events takes place from June 12 to 18, 2023, at the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC), in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. More specifically, the TOTE Clinic happens from June 12 to 14, followed by the TOTE Team Race, on June 15, and the IOR, June 16 to 18.

"Already, we have sailors registered representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and several states in the U.S.A.," says Emily Zimmerman, regatta director, and STYC Commodore. "Now celebrating our 30th anniversary, the IOR's combination of a clinic, team race, and regatta has proven successful, and it's become a sought-after event to prepare sailors for upcoming regional and international events. We are pleased to have sponsors such as the K3 Company support this event and will be awarding their high-quality dry bags as top prizes."

Among the 60-plus entries to date is Amelia Woodworth, from Fairfield, Connecticut, who finished 6th overall in the 2022 IOR. Since then, Woodworth has competed in two Optimist South American Championships in Brazil and Peru, as well as fleet raced in France and Argentina and team raced in Germany and Italy.

"St. Thomas continues to be my favorite all-around place to sail," says Woodworth, who sails with LISOT (Long Island Sound Optimist Team) under coach Pepe Bettini. "At this year's IOR I'm looking forward to the amazing wind and great competition. What I like best about sailing in IOR is the warm water, large swell, and off-the-water experiences with my friends. It is such a beautiful place, and I am looking forward to coming back!"

Three in One Event

The spectacular week of junior sailing kicks off with the TOTE Maritime Clinic, June 12 to 14. Some of the best Optimist coaches conduct on-the-water training sessions and instructive on-land debriefs for both Advanced (age-divided Red, White, and Blue Fleets) and beginner (Green Fleet) sailors. This year's coaches include Argentina's Gonzalo 'Bocha' Pollitzer, who has three Optimist World Champions to his credit; the USA's Esteban 'Pilo' Rocha, currently the advanced racing coach at the Lauderdale Yacht Club and a past World's team coach; the USA's Manny Resano, from the California Yacht Club, who has coached the US team in many international events; and the USA's Mykel Alonso, the green fleet head coach at Coral Reef Yacht Club.

On June 15, over a dozen teams are expected for the TOTE Maritime Team Race. The 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 14th.

The IOR sets sail from June 16 to 18.

"The main focus of the clinic is starts, especially in a big fleet, and on understanding the geographical wind shifts and currents that we cover in the point-to-point 'Volvo' Race," says Agustin 'Argy' Resano, St. Thomas Yacht Club coach, and Clinic and Team Race organizer. "The clinic/regatta combo is the perfect training scenario, where you develop your skills and then put that knowledge into practice. The team racing event between the two just gives a 'full experience', as it's a different sailing format where the sailors race in teams of four. In all, it's the perfect week. Plus, we get seven days of sailing guaranteed in open ocean waters, with 12 to 20 knots of wind, big waves, and warm weather."

Trophies will be awarded to the top five finishers in the Red, Blue, and White classes and the top three overall as well as the top place female. Participation awards will be awarded to all Green fleet sailors. Additional awards include the Peter Ives' Perpetual Trophy (superb sailor/individual), the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Perpetual Trophy, and the perpetual Founders Trophy, awarded to the Top Female sailor.

The K3 Company Sponsors Iconic Sailor Bags

The K3 Company, a global manufacturer of premium outdoor gear and accessories, will introduce its new 5-liter K3 TPU dry bags. These are a more sustainable, lightweight, and durable bag. Offered in an array of colors and sizes, IOR participants will be one of the first to experience and enjoy this bag. All entrants will receive a K3 TPU bag as a Skipper's Bag, while K3's Alpha 24-liter water-resistant backpacks and 40-liter Water Resistant Duffle Backpack will be awarded as prizes.

"The ongoing commitment to the International Optimist Regatta and the sailing community is part of one of our most important partnerships," says Laura Hill, Vice President of Product Marketing. "K3 is excited to continue this relationship and assist the Regatta in allowing the many student-athletes to compete this year. Helping student-athletes and Olympic hopefuls to move beyond their dreams is a core initiative for K3 and we are so proud to be involved. We look forward to cheering them on."

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

Make Plans Now!

For charters, contact Simmons Boatworks at: simmonsbw.com/collections/packages-transfers/products/winner-3d-star-optimist-charter. The charter package comes with a Winner-brand hull with airbags, blocks, 3-to-1 mainsheet, and painter, on a dolly, with top cover. The deadline to reserve charter boats is May 13, 2023.

For coach boat charters, contact Zimmerman: .

Traveling to St. Thomas is easy! The following airlines fly direct from major U.S. cities: American (Boston, Miami, New York, San Juan), Delta (Atlanta, New York), JetBlue (Boston), Spirit (Fort Lauderdale), and United (Chicago, Newark, Washington Dulles). Airlines connecting St. Thomas to the Caribbean include Cape Air, LIAT, and Seaborne Airlines.

Available accommodations on St. Thomas in the Cowpet Bay area where the regatta takes place include hotels, B&Bs, resorts, villas, condos, VRBO rentals, and Airbnb's. For more information, visit: www.visitusvi.com and usvihta.com.

For more information, Email: or call (408) 314-7119. Or, for the Notice of Regatta (NOR), Registration Form, and other information, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club website at stthomasyachtclub.org/sailing/regattas/international-optimist-regatta or Regatta Network: www.regattanetwork.com/event/25798. Please also visit the International Optimist Regatta on social media! @internationaloptiregatta

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