International Optimist Regatta - British Virgin Islands' Duff wins

Optimist sailors line up on the St. Thomas Yacht Club beach ready to launch.
Dean Barnes
Shifting strategies to match wind speed and direction, staying out in front of the fleet and remaining calm provided successful strategies for 11-year-old Rayne Duff. Duff won the 22nd International Optimist Regatta (IOR) hosted out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club, St. Thomas, USVI, from June 20 to 22.

At the conclusion of today’s final two races, the Tortola, British Virgin Islands-based sailor continued to lengthen his lead and comfortably finished with 33 points separating him from his closest competition. That’s quite a feat considering the keen level of competition in the 59-boat Advanced Optimist fleet and wind conditions blowing a brisk 10- to 15- knots, plus higher in gusts.

'I still need to work on my starts,' says Duff, who along with his other team members will be representing the BVI in the Optimist North American Championships, in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, July 9 to 16. 'But being consistent, in the top three in every race, is really what helped.'

Left, the USVI Teddy Nicolosi (second overall), gains on the BVI's Rayne Duff (first overall). Credit: Dean Barnes
Dean Barnes


Duff not only won the overall championship, but also the 11- and 12-year-old Blue Fleet.

In the 13- to 15-year-old Red Fleet, it was 13-year-old Teddy Nicolosi, from St. Thomas, USVI, who finished first in spite of poor scores at the beginning of the regatta.

'The first day I was too nervous, I couldn’t think straight,' says Nicolosi, a member of the USVI National Team that will also compete in the Optimist North Americans in Mexico. 'The second day I relaxed and told myself I didn’t care about the results, that it was just practice. Then I started sailing better.'

The USA’s Stephan Baker won the age 10 and Under White Fleet.

'I played the left side of the course. That’s what my coach recommended and he has a lot of experience here. It really paid off,' says Baker. Baker is coached in Miami, Florida, by Antigua native and former BVI coach, Omari Scott.

83 Junior Sailors from 10 Nations sail in the International Optimist Regatta. Credit: Dean Barnes
Dean Barnes


The trophy for Top Girl was awarded to 11-year-old Isabella Casaretto from the USA. Casaretto also finished an impressive seventh overall.

'I sailed here last year and didn’t do well,' says Casaretto. 'This year, I got clean starts, clear air and kept up with the top of the fleet. I like it that there’s a lot of wind here.'

Twenty-two junior sailors competed in the Green or Beginner Fleet, which bodes well for the future of the sport. In the end, it was nine year-old Caroline Sibilly from St. Thomas, USVI, who emerged victorious.

'My strategy was to get away from the others and into clear air so I could go fast,' says Sibilly.

Spain’s Elisenda Rahola Codina won the Pete Ives Award, given for a combination of sailing prowess, sportsmanship, determination and good attitude both on and off the water.

Meanwhile, it was the USA’s Brooke Shachoy who earned the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Award.

'I was very impressed with the level of skill here especially in the top sailors,' says David Campbell James of Southampton, UK, who served as the IOR’s Principal Race Officer.

A total of 81 sailors competed in the Advanced Red, Blue and White Fleets and beginner Green Fleet. The Advanced Fleets completed 10 races and the Green Fleet a total of 18 races over the three days of competition. Sailors hailed from 10 nations – Antigua, Argentina, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Germany, Puerto Rico, Spain, the Netherlands, U.S.A, and all three USVI.

The IOR is organized under authority of the Virgin Islands Sailing Association and it is a Caribbean Sailing Association-sanctioned event.

Optimist sailors line up on the St. Thomas Yacht Club beach ready to launch. Credit: Dean Barnes
Dean Barnes


The week started off with the Sea Star Clinic, run by local coaches and coaches from OptiSailors.com, and included the one-day Sea Star Team Race. The team race was won by STYC 1, made up of Teddy Nicolosi, Christopher Sharpless, Mateo DiBlasi and Robert Hunter.

Major IOR sponsors include the USVI Department of Tourism, Sea Star Lines and Seven Seas Water.

For more information about the IOR, visit website. Also visit the International Optimist Regatta on Facebook!

Results (Top three)

Red Fleet (25 boats):

1. Teddy Nicolosi, USVI, 46
2. Thomas Rice, USA, 54
3. Luke Arnone, USA, 63

Blue Fleet (31):

1. Rayne Duff, BVI, 13
2. Zane Rogers, USA, USA, 60
3. Isabella Casaretto, USA, 86

White Fleet (three):

1. Stephan Baker, USA, 125
2. Nathan Haycraft, BVI, 288
3. Vanessa Lahrkamp, USA, 423

Green Fleet (22 boats):

1. Caroline Sibilly, USVI, 26
2. Thommie Grit, USA, 30
3. Jose Diaz, PR, 33

  Complete Results: Optimist (59 boats) (top) Series Standing - 10 races scored
Sail  SkipperYacht Club 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 TotalPos
IVB911  rayne DUFF [Blue]  RBVIYC  1  3  1  1  2  2  1  1  [8]  1  13   1  
ISV 720  Teddy Nicolosi [Red]  St. Thomas Yacht Club  [32]  13  3  14  4  1  3  3  3  2  46   2  
16686  Thomas Rice [Red]  SailStrong Youth Racing / Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club  2  7  2  9  1  [17]  12  7  2  12  54   3  
USA18303  Zane Rogers [Blue]  Lakewood Yacht Club  [20]  4  10  20  3  7  2  6  1  7  60   4  
19781  Luke Arnone [Red]  CERT/SPYC  4  6  6  8  7  9  4  10  9  [15]  63   5  
19597  Jack Brown [Red]  Seaside Park Yacht Club  14  5  4  2  11  6  15  5  [25]  23  85   6  
15771  Isabella Casaretto [Blue]  Lauderdale Yacht Club  10  10  5  10  9  [20]  10  8  18  6  86   7  
ISV 6  Christopher Sharpless [Red]  St. Thomas Yacht Club  8  [23]  11  11  19  3  11  14  7  10  94   8  
19404  Severin Gramm [Red]  Coral Reef Yacht Club  3  16  13  4  17  13  18  2  12  [22]  98   9  
14618  Luke Welker [Red]  Team 4  29  9  18  3  15  8  14  4  [39]  3  103   10  
GER 13129  Leonardo Honold [Blue]  BYCUe Bodensee-Yacht-Club Ueberlingen  6  14  12  5  14  10  21  11  15  [26]  108   11  
USA 20123  Hayden Earl [Blue]  Stage Harbor Yacht Club / FAST  16  12  20  6  32  [34]  7  9  6  4  112   12  
ANT 2  Rocco Falcone [Red]  Antigua Yacht Club  7  1  24  [27]  6  23  17  16  13  18  125T   13  
USA20797  Stephan Baker [White]  CRYC  5  2  14  25  26  15  [40]  26  4  8  125T   14  
ISV 642  Mia Nicolosi [Blue]  St Thomas Yacht Club  23  17  7  17  16  [24]  6  17  16  9  128   15  
GER 13426  Jonathan Steidle [Blue]  BYCUe Bodensee-Yacht-Club Ueberlingen  25  18  15  [30]  10  4  24  21  14  5  136   16  
ISV224  Julian van den Driessche [Blue]  St Thomas Yacht Club  22  11  23  15  5  11  8  20  27  [60/BFD]  142   17  
15436  Julia Johansson [Blue]  CRYC  17  20  21  19  18  21  5  15  19  [27]  155   18  
IVB 1701  Thad Lettsome [Blue]  Royal BVI Yacht Club  28  19  17  16  13  16  16  19  [30]  17  161   19  
15510  NICOLAS MARTIN [Red]  Lakewood Yacht Club  19  15  16  22  31  [33]  23  13  10  16  165   20  
19187  Mariner Fagan [Blue]  Annapolis Yacht Club  9  24  9  7  [45]  5  26  24  21  41  166   21  
ANT 3  Louis Bavay [Red]  Antigua Yacht Cub  12  22  8  26  28  14  22  28  [35]  28  188   22  
15784  ian Jezak [Red]  SailStrong/LLSC  18  [38]  19  21  29  18  33  30  23  19  210   23  
ISV 616  Robert Hunter [Red]  St. Thomas Yacht Club  13  37  29  39  8  12  13  49  11  [60/BFD]  211T   24  
IVB955  Sam Childs [Blue]  Royal BVI Yacht Club  11  25  22  31  20  28  29  25  [43]  20  211T   25  
ISV 1999  Mateo Di Blasi [Blue]  STYC  15  30  28  28  21  40  9  [43]  17  33  221   26  
17949  Teagan Cunningham [Red]  Barnegat Light Yacht Club  24  21  33  18  35  22  [38]  35  28  11  227   27  
17665  Madeleine Rice [Blue]  SailStrong Youth Racing / Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club  30  28  30  12  25  30  [37]  22  24  30  231   28  
13987  Chase Carraway [Red]  CYC-NC/SailStrong  37  26  32  13  [40]  35  39  12  26  32  252   29  
ESP1800  ELISENDA RAHOLA i CODINA [Red]  CN EL BALIS  27  33  25  [60/BFD]  33  37  20  33  22  24  254   30  
ISV204  Victoria Flatley [Blue]  STYC  [52]  27  36  43  12  31  50  48  5  13  265   31  
5699  J.J. Smith [Blue]  St. Petersburg YC  26  8  37  36  30  38  25  [40]  31  35  266   32  
17785  jojo bolduc [Red]  CRYC  47  29  31  23  44  32  19  27  20  [60/BFD]  272   33  
USA 14440  Brooke Shachoy [Red]  Beverly Yacht Club/FAST  21  35  26  [60/BFD]  24  25  43  29  42  29  274   34  
IVB864  Nathan Haycraft [White]  RBVIYC  34  [42]  27  29  22  26  42  39  33  36  288   35  
IVB109  James Dawson [Red]  RBVIYC  35  39  35  33  34  [60/DNF]  30  32  38  14  290   36  
15756  Berta Puig [Blue]  Coral Reef Yatch Club  33  34  [47]  34  38  19  32  36  40  25  291   37  
18313  Chase Burwell [Red]  Team FOR - Carlouel Yacht Club  38  41  39  [48]  27  29  34  34  34  37  313   38  
IVB115  Amelie Clark [Blue]  RBVIYC  44  53  [55]  41  36  27  48  18  32  21  320   39  
19291  Grace Austin [Red]  Belle Haven Club  46  36  45  38  37  41  27  38  29  [48]  337   40  
20802  Nat Edmonds [Blue]  Wianno  45  32  40  40  39  43  28  [47]  36  38  341   41  
17115  Seth Rizika [Blue]  Wianno/FAST  31  43  46  37  [50]  36  46  31  41  31  342   42  
18058  Connor Nelson [Red]  Team FOR DIYC  39  31  42  32  42  [48]  35  37  48  39  345   43  
18310  Matthew King [Blue]  Team FOR  41  [52]  34  24  41  52  45  23  46  46  352   44  
19308  Andrew Florio [Blue]  Sarasota Youth Sailing/ Team FOR  42  49  50  [51]  43  44  41  44  37  43  393   45  
USA 19411  Reed Shachoy [Blue]  Beverly Yacht Club/FAST  36  44  44  49  49  45  [54]  42  44  45  398   46  
20252  Polk Baggett [Blue]  CYC NC  49  [51]  41  35  46  42  44  50  47  49  403   47  
1616  rider odom [Red]  Noyl Odom  54  46  38  45  [56]  39  49  45  51  44  411   48  
17077  Elizabeth Shanahan [Red]  Team FOR/SPYC  40  47  [56]  42  47  47  51  51  55  34  414   49  
18923  Vanessa Lahrkamp [White]  SailStrong Youth Racing  43  40  52  46  55  54  [56]  41  52  40  423   50  
ISV312  Mathieu Dale [Blue]  SCYC  50  50  43  50  53  46  31  [54]  54  51  428   51  
20058  Brooke Schmelz [Blue]  Surf City Yacht Club  [57]  57  57  55  23  55  36  55  50  50  438   52  
14246  Brandon Geller [Blue]  Team FOR  51  48  49  44  48  50  [55]  52  45  54  441   53  
1847  Cade Morris [Red]  King Harbor Yacht Club  48  45  48  47  [57]  51  57  53  49  47  445   54  
20490  Kyle Jezak [Red]  LLSC/SailStrong  55  58  [60/DNS]  60/DNS  51  49  52  46  53  42  466   55  
PUR5637  Joaquin Lopez [Blue]  City Gardener Sailing Team  56  54  51  54  54  56  47  [57]  57  52  481   56  
CAY717  will jackson [Blue]  St. Petersburg/Cayman Island Sailing Club  [58]  55  54  53  52  53  53  56  56  53  485   57  
9430  Kassie Jezak [Red]  LLSC  53  56  53  52  [60/DNF]  60/DNS  60/DNF  60/DNS  60/DNC  60/DNC  514   58  
17356  Christian Ehrnrooth [Red]  SFYC  [60/DNC]  60/DNC  60/DNC  60/DNC  60/DNC  60/DNC  60/DNC  60/DNC  60/DNC  60/DNC  540   59  
               

Opti Green (22 boats) (top) Series Standing - 18 races scored
Sail  SkipperYacht Club 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18 TotalPos
8008  Caroline Sibilly  STYC  2  3  1  1  3  1  1  3  3  1  2  1  [4]  1  [5]  [4]  2  1  26  1  
7246  Thommie Grit  Sarasota Youth Sailing  1  2  [3]  2  [4]  2  3  1  2  3  [4]  2  1  2  1  2  3  3  30  2  
pur 559  Jose Diaz  CNSJ  3  1  2  [4]  2  [4]  2  [4]  1  2  1  4  2  4  3  1  1  4  33  3  
20818  Sebastian Spinelli-Sax  Minnetonka Sailing Club  4  4  4  3  1  [5]  5  2  5  4  [7]  3  5  3  4  5  5  [9]  57  4  
11546  Devin Wade  Sarasota Youth Sailing  5  [23/DNS]  [23/DNF]  13  5  6  4  [17]  4  5  3  6  3  9  2  6  6  7  84  5  
isv395  steven hardee  St. Croix Yacht Club  7  6  5  5  7  7  6  9  9  [11]  8  5  [11]  [11]  8  3  9  2/*  96T  6  
isv642  Niquan Benjamin  STYC  6  5  6  7  8  3  [9]  6  7  6  5  [12]  [10]  8  9  8  7  5  96T  7  
1220  Adelaide Jones  KATS St. John  8  9  7  9  6  10  7  [12]  8  8  [13]  [14]  6  10  11  11  4  2  116  8  
13128  Anya Reshetiloff  None  [23/DSQ]  12  8  10  10  8  10  5  2/*  12  6  11  8  7  [15]  13  11  [15]  133  9  
isv16  Gillian Perrell  STYC  9  8  9  11  11  9  8  8  [13]  [14]  12  9  9  6  [13]  10  8  8  135  10  
ISV224  Max van den Driessche  St Thomas Yacht Club  10  7  10  6  [12]  12  [15]  10  12  7  9  8  7  12  6  [14]  12  11  139  11  
17246  Luke King  Sarasota Youth Sailing  [14]  11  [23/DNF]  [23/DNF]  9  13  13  7  6  9  11  7  13  13  7  9  14  10  152  12  
26919  zahrria thomas  styc  15  10  11  8  [23/DNS]  11  12  14  14  [17]  10  10  14  5  [16]  16  13  12  175  13  
8  Carson Oakley  SCYC  11  13  13  12  [21]  15  16  15  15  10  14  [18]  15  15  14  [17]  16  13  207  14  
ISV26919T  Tanner Krygsveld  St. Thomas Yacht Club  12  14  12  [18]  14  14  11  11  10  13  15  [19]  16  14  18  18  [19]  16  208  15  
3331  Katherine Majette  styc  13  [21]  [23/DSQ]  15  13  18  14  18  16  18  16  17  [22]  18  10  12  20  17  235  16  
ISV1999  Robert Richards  St Thomas  16  16  17  17  16  17  18  16  18  16  18  16  [19]  [19]  [20]  19  10  14  244  17  
333  Winborne Majette  styc  [23/DNF]  18  15  14  17  16  17  21  [22]  [23/DNS]  17  15  12  16  19  15  18  18  248  18  
1023  Arjuna Morris  kats  18  17  19  16  20  19  [21]  13  21  21  [22]  13  20  17  17  7  15  [22]  253  19  
isv6  Coleton Coffelt  member  17  15  16  [23/DNF]  19  21  [22]  20  17  19  19  20  21  [22]  21  20  17  19  281  20  
ISV2002  Alejo Di Blasi  STYC  [23/DNF]  19  18  [23/DNF]  18  20  20  19  19  15  21  21  17  20  12  [22]  22  21  282  21  
ISV8  CRUZ LONSKI  STYC  [23/DSQ]  20  14  [23/DNF]  15  [23/DNF]  19  22  20  20  20  22  18  21  22  21  21  20  295  22  
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