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Registration open for International Optimist Regatta in St. Thomas

by Carol Bareuther 7 May 10:14 PDT 10-16 June 2019
Over 100 junior sailors from several nations participated in the 2018 International Optimist Regatta in St. Thomas © Dean Barnes

Tell your friends! Whether you want to tune up for the Optimist Worlds or learn new tactics for a summer of racing, register now for the International Optimist Regatta (IOR), presented by EMS (Electronic Merchant Systems) Virgin Islands, and the TOTE Maritime Clinic and Team Race, which takes place June 10 to 16, 2019, at the St. Thomas Yacht Club, in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

More specifically, the Clinic happens June 10 to 12, followed by the Team Race, June 13 along with a Parade of Nations and Welcome Party, and IOR, June 14 to 16.

Early entry registration is $275 through May 15; $300 after this date.

Plus, the deadline to reserve charter boats is May 17, 2019.

"We're expecting an even more international regatta this year since sailors from a record 64 countries have entered the Optimist Worlds, in Antigua, which is three weeks after our event. Already we have sailors registered from Antigua, Argentina, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Ecuador, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the USA and all three U.S. Virgin Islands," says Holly Jenkins, regatta director. "In terms of numbers, there should be over 100 Advanced and Green Fleet sailors. We look forward to welcoming these junior sailors, their families, friends and coaches."

The spectacular week of junior sailing kicks off with the TOTE Maritime Clinic, June 10 to 12. Some of the best Optimist coaches conduct on-the-water training sessions instructive on-land debriefs for both Advanced (age-divided Red, White and Blue Fleets) and beginner (Green Fleet) sailors.

"We have some of the top international coaches that work in the U.S., each bringing different aspects and coaching techniques to the clinic," says St. Thomas Yacht Club coach, and Clinic and Team Race organizer, Agustin 'Argy' Resano. "The objective of the clinic will be the trademark it has become known for. That is, focusing mainly on starts and big fleet management."

Over a dozen teams are expected for the TOTE Maritime Team Race, on June 13th. 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 12th.

"We are honored to again be a part of this wonderful event, which unites youth sailors from several countries each year and allows these sailors to develop skills through sportsmanship that will serve them well in the future. We look forward to continuing hosting the IOR clinics and team race events for many more years," says Reinaldo Seijo, account executive for TOTE Maritime Agency USVI.

The IOR, presented by EMS Virgin Islands, is June 14 to 16. The regatta entry fee includes an event T-shirt, registration 'goodie' bag, and all meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday's Brunch. Early entry registration is $275 through May 15; $300 after this date.

"Boating plays a huge role in our lives here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sailing, specifically, provides our young sailors with a discipline that will stay with them for life. Grit, confidence, responsibility...the list is endless. We, at EMS Virgin Islands, are proud sponsors of the IOR and look forward to an exciting event this year," says Cobia Fagan, owner, EMS Virgin Islands.

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

For charter boats, request and confirm online at optistuff.com. Or, contact McLaughlin Boat Works, 1 (423) 875-0740, 1 (423) 875-4040 or Toll Free in the U.S. 1 (800) 784-6478; Email: Deadline to reserve charter boats is May 17, 2019.

For coach boat charters, contact Jenkins:

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

Available accommodations on St. Thomas include hotels, B&B's, resorts, villas, condos, VRBO rentals and Airbnb's. For more information, visit: visitusvi.com and usvihta.com

For more information, call (340) 513-2234, Email: . Or, for the Notice of Regatta, Registration Form and other information, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club website at styc.club or regattanetwork.com

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