HomeOPTIMIST31st International Optimist Regatta in St. Thomas Yacht Club

31st International Optimist Regatta in St. Thomas Yacht Club

TOTE Clinic & TOTS Team Race kicks-off this week

Wath makes this coming week of sailing events unique is the combination of instruction, team, and fleet racing for beginners and advanced sailors alike, all in one event.

The TOTE Clinic kicks off Monday through Wednesday, the TOTE Team Race is on Thursday, and the 31st International Optimist Regatta (IOR), hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC), runs from Friday through Sunday.

Youth Sailors Ready to Race

A fleet of over 100 8- to 15-year-old sailors representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and several U.S. states will compete in 8-foot long single-sail Optimist in this trio of events. The IOR is a bucket-list regatta to win for young sailors, as in its three-decade history, past champions have gone on to race in the Olympics, One-Design World Championships, and the America’s Cup.

This year, the IOR serves as a spectacular tune-up for the Optimist North American Championships (OPTINAM), set for July 13-20, in neighboring San Juan, Puerto Rico.

U.S. Optimist National Team members who race in the IOR and OPTINAM are Wills Gandy, Coral Reef Yacht Club, FL; Cassady Lorentzen, Balboa Yacht Club, CA; and Alexander Montagu, San Francisco Yacht Club, CA.

The U.S. Virgin Islands sailors racing in the IOR and who will represent the territory at the OPTINAMS are Reagan Uszenski, Samantha Degraff, Avery Pearsall, Finn Hodgins, Hunter Reinbold, Wyatt Fogarty and Will Zimmerman from St. Thomas, and Kai Tanguay and Croix Benton from St. Croix.

Three In One Event

The impressive week of junior sailing kicks off today with the TOTE Clinic, June 10 to 12. The coaches, in alphabetical order with their affiliations, are Mykel Alonso (Coral Reef Yacht Club, FL, USA), Megan Cassidy (St. Thomas Yacht Club, USVI), Spencer LeGrande (St. Thomas Yacht Club, USVI), Joie Paciulli (St. Thomas Yacht Club, USVI), Gonzalo Pollitzer (Club Nautico San Isidro, Argentina), Agustin Resano (STYC, USVI), Manny Resano (JK Sailing, CA, USA), Esteban Rocha (Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club, FL, USA), and Emily Verdioa (St. Thomas Yacht Club, USVI).

On June 13, over a dozen teams are expected for the TOTE Maritime Team Race.

The IOR sets sail from June 14 to 16.

Trophies will be awarded to the top five finishers in the Red, Blue, and White classes, the top three overall, and 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 Awards Ceremony takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday at the STYC.

Strong Sponsor Support

Winners in the Red (ages 13-15), Blue (ages 11-12), and White (age 10 and under) fleets will receive signature Virgin Islands’-styled Lite Up Watches from Cardow Jewelers, each in coordinated Red, Blue, and White colors. Perfect for junior sailors, the kid-favorite timepieces are water-resistant and feature a silicon band, flashlight, light-up feature, and an outline of all three U.S. Virgin Islands on the face.

The IOR is sponsored by TOTE, the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, The K3 Company, Cardow, MSI Building Supplies, Lagnappe Interiors, and CC1 Virgin Islands.

This year’s event will follow an eco-friendly theme. Sailors will be encouraged to recycle all plastic water bottles, keep all lunch bags and wrapping out of the water, pick up trash on shore, and accept drinks without straws.

For more information, Email: internationaloptiregatta@gmail.com or call (340) 775-6320. 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 see the International Optimist Regatta on Facebook and Instagram @internationaloptiregatta.


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