by Carol Bareuther
Caribbean’s Largest Optimist Regatta & Clinic
Multi-task this month! Take a two-week family race-cruise vacation to the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Thomas. Register your 7- to 15-year-old Optimist sailors to race in the 22nd International Optimist Regatta, set for June 20-22. They will be in the company of more than 100 other junior sailors from the U.S., Caribbean, Europe, and South America. Novices and advanced sailors alike are welcome and will sail in separate fleets. There’s a three-day warm-up clinic taught by a team of highly experienced international coaches June 16-18. June 19th is reserved for team racing, and a parade of nations, pizzaparty and limbo show with fire dancers add to the fun.
The surrounding weeks take the whole family on a leisurely cruise around the 60-plus islands that make up the U.S. and British Virgins. Charter companies on St. Thomas include Island Yachts (iyc.vi), which offers Island Packet sailboats, and CYOA Yacht Charters (cyoacharters.com), which offers multi- and monohull sailboats and power yachts for bareboat charter. Or take the shuttle to Tortola in the B.V.I., where both MarineMax and The Mooringsoffer a large bareboat charter fleet. If you prefer less line handling and more relaxation, choose from more than 100 crewed yachts in the Virgin Islands Charteryacht League fleet. vicl.org