Optimist National Championships
Back-to-back optimist dinghy regattas this month and next offer some of the best conditions and competition in the world. First is the International Optimist Regatta (IOR).
Set for June 10-16 at the St. Thomas Yacht Club in the U.S. Virgin Islands, more than 100 sailors from around the world will attend. What makes this worth putting on an Opti bucket list is that it offers a trio of events: a three-day clinic taught by an international
contingent of coaches, one-day of team racing and a three-day regatta.
What’s more, both the clinic and regatta feature classes for beginner Green fleeters as well as advanced Championship fleet sailors. The Club’s beach setting makes it easy for younger siblings to have fun, while food and beverage facilities make sure the parents are happy.
Second, from July 6-16, is the Optimist World Championship hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club on the leeward Caribbean island of Antigua. The Club, located in the beautiful venue of Falmouth Harbour, hosted the Optimist North American Championship in 2015 and 2016.
This year’s Worlds could set a record. “As of March, we had 246 sailors from 59 countries registered,” says organizing committee chair Paola Vittoria. “If we can get to 63 countries, we will break the Guinness World record for the most countries competing at a single class regatta, which would be a fantastic achievement for us.”
By Carol Bareuther, Southern Boating June 2019