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Register now for 31st International Optimist Regatta, Clinic & Team Race

by Carol Bareuther 27 Apr 10:34 PDT June 10-16, 2024
Optis lined up on the STYC beach for the 2023 TOTE Clinic © Matias Capizzano

Want to tune up for the Optimist North American Championships in Puerto Rico in July? Or learn new tactics for a summer of racing? Then register now here for the 31st International Optimist Regatta (IOR), TOTE Clinic and TOTE Team Race, June 10-16, whose three-decade-plus history of past entrants read like a Who's Who of college all-Americans; national, continental, and world champions; America's Cup sailors, and Olympians.

The IOR is hosted at the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC).

Early entry discount ends May 1! The registration fee for the IOR is $300, with late registration after May 1st of $350. The fee to enter the IOR and TOTE Clinic is $700, or $400 for the Clinic only. A refund, less a $150 processing fee, will be granted to those entries that cancel by May 1, 2024.

The 2024 IOR can accept only a maximum of 125 sailors. Don't miss out!

"This year, the IOR offers a fantastic opportunity to tune up for the Optimist North American Championships, set for July 13-20, in neighboring San Juan, Puerto Rico, and for other international youth sailing events this summer," says Lauren Hodgins, regatta co-director with Lori Vaughan. We look forward to welcoming sailors, their friends, and families to St. Thomas to race where the competition is hot, and camaraderie and hospitality are warm."

Entry preview

Nearly 90 sailors, representing the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and several U.S. states including New York, New Jersey, and Florida, are registered in the IOR's Championship and Green Fleets.

Among these entries is St. Thomas' Will Zimmerman, who won the 11- to 12-year-old Blue Fleet in the 2023 IOR and will be in the highly competitive 13- to 15-year-old Red Fleet this year.

"What I like best is the Volvo Race at the end of the Clinic because there are multiple starts upwind, downwind, and reaching," says Zimmerman, who represents STYC. "I'm looking forward to higher competition in the Red Fleet. By this age, everyone has been in Optis for a couple of years, and I'm ready to step up my game."

Puerto Rico's Isabel Rivera Fernandez, representing Club Nautico de San Juan, will return to the IOR. Most recently, Rivera Fernandez finished 5th in Red Fleet and third Top Female in the Championship Fleet at the 2024 Regata de Gigantes held in January, in Carolina, Puerto Rico.

"I am looking forward to seeing my international Opti friends, to the sailing conditions, and seeing how much I improved from my first IOR to this one which will be my last," says Rivera Fernandez, who will skipper a 420 at the 2024 Youth Sailing World Championships this July, at Lake Garda, Itay. "The IOR will help my preparation for Youth Worlds by allowing me to practice tactics."

Three in one event

The spectacular week of junior sailing kicks off with the TOTE Maritime Clinic, June 10-12. Some of the best Optimist coaches conduct on-the-water training sessions and instructive on-land debriefs for both Advanced (age-divided Red, White, and Blue Fleets) and beginner (Green Fleet) sailors. This year's coaches include Agustin 'Argy' Resano, U.S. Virgin Islands National Team; Manny Resano, USA National Team Head Coach; Gonzalo Pollitzer, USA National Team Optimist World Championship's Team Coach; Esteban Rocha, Fort Lauderdale Yacht Club, FL; Mike Dowd, Team CERT, NJ; Matias Renzini, St. Pete Yacht Club, FL; Mykel Alonso, Green Fleet Head Coach, Coral Reef Yacht Club, FL; Emily Verdoia, STYC; Joie Paciulli, STYC. Most of these coaches have 20-plus years of experience in the Optimist class as coaches and/or are former Optimist sailors.

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

The IOR sets sail from June 14 to 16.

"It's just the perfect week," says Agustin 'Argy' Resano, TOTE Clinic and TOTE Team Race organizer. "The sailing conditions are there for us. We pretty much get seven full days of sailing guaranteed, unlike many venues where it's not possible to sail some of the days due to weather conditions. The Clinic/IOR Regatta combo is the perfect training scenario, where sailors develop their skills for three days and then put them into place in the IOR. The team racing event between the two gives the week the 'full experience' because it's a different sailing format where the sailors sail on teams of four. The kids love it!

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

Make plans now! Resort discount!

For charters, contact Simmons Boatworks. The charter package comes with a Winner-brand hull with airbags, blocks, 3-to-1 mainsheet, and painter, on a dolly, with top cover. N1 Blades Optimax Spars included. The deadline to reserve charter boats is May 1, 2024.

For coach boat charters, contact:

Traveling to St. Thomas is easy! The following airlines fly direct from major U.S. cities: American Airlines (Charlotte, Dallas, Miami, New York), Delta (Atlanta, New York), Frontier (San Juan), JetBlue (Boston, San Juan), Spirit (Fort Lauderdale, Orlando) and United (Chicago, Newark, Washington-Dulles). Air Sunshine, Cape Air, Fly the Whale, Sea Flight, and SKYhigh Dominicana are airlines that operate within the Caribbean with service to St. Thomas.

Discounted room rates are available for the IOR at the Westin Beach Resort & Spa, at Frenchman's Reef from June 6-June 16, 2024. Visit here to book

Other available accommodations on St. Thomas in the Cowpet Bay area where the regatta takes place include hotels, B&Bs, resorts, villas, condominiums, VRBO rentals, and Airbnb's. For more information, visit: www.visitusvi.com.

For more information, Email: or call (340) 775-6320. Or, for the Notice of Regatta (NOR), Registration Form, and other information, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club website or Regatta Network: www.regattanetwork.com.

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