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Best Optimist Racing in the Caribbean Set for Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta

The St. Thomas Yacht Club will play host to a full week of some of the best Optimist dinghy training, team and fleet racing in the Caribbean. Register now for the Sea Star Clinic, June 20-22, the Sea Star Team Race, June 23, and Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta, June 24-26.

Celebrating its 19th year and known as one of the first and largest regattas in the Caribbean to promote youth sailing, the 2011 Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta will welcome participants this year from around the world.

“Sailors from countries including St. Martin, Trinidad and the U.S. have expressed an interest to come and compete. We also have five confirmed sailors from New Zealand,” says Margo Lynch, regatta director.

Over 90 8- to 15-year-old junior sailors are expected to attend this Virgin Island Sailing Association and Caribbean Sailing Association sanctioned regatta.

Scotiabank Opti Regatta

“The Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta is a fantastic family friendly regatta that offers awesome training for the upcoming North Americans in Los Angeles and the Nationals in Houston,” says Lynch.

Lawrence A. Aqui, vice president of Scotiabank for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, comments, “For young people, sailing offers many life-lessons that will serve them well, and can make them better members of our community. The sport teaches focus, discipline, self-reliance and respect for the environment. It hones natural instincts. It encourages youngsters to push themselves beyond their comfort zone and leads to the pursuit of excellence.”

The Sea Star Clinic begins Monday, June 20th and runs through Wednesday, June 22nd, when top international coaches will teach the registered sailors.

“The clinic offers the opportunity to train with the best and have different perspectives from different coaches,” says coach Agustin ‘Argy’ Resano, who will head up the clinic along with OptiSailors.com coaches Bocha Pollitzer and Manny Resano as well as U.S. Virgin Islands’ Optimist coach, Santiago Galan. “It also gives the Caribbean sailors the opportunity to train in a bigger fleet which is hard to do here in the region based on the number of sailors on each island.”

Cost of the clinic is $300 for non-U.S. Virgin Islands’ registrants and $275 for U.S. Virgin Islands’ residents, and includes breakfast and lunch for the three days. Clinic registration closes on May 15th.

The Sea Star Team Racing event is scheduled for June 23rd. “Last year we had 10 teams register and we expect more this year,” says Lynch. Entry fee for the team racing is $160 per team of 4 sailors. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on June 22nd.

“We are excited and proud to sponsor the 2011 Sea Star Line Clinic & Team Race,” says Keith McSwain, District Manager of Sea Star Line. “This wonderful event helps to inspire, educate and enrich the lives of our youth while equipping them with invaluable life skills gained from the sailing experience.”

The three-day Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta kicks off Friday June 24th. Ken Legler, head coach for the Tuft’s University Sailing Team, will serve as Principal Race Officer.

“We’ll keep the Green Fleet closer to shore in Cowpet Bay where they will sail windward-leeward courses and we’ll take the Advanced Red, Blue and White Fleets further offshore to sail trapezoidal-shaped courses with the option for windward-leeward if conditions warrant,” says Lynch. “This gives each fleet an area where they feel comfortable and can be competitive.”

The regatta entry fee is $185 by April 15th. After this date, the fee goes up to $200 by May 15th and $225 after May 15th. Final registration takes place June 23rd. The entry fee includes an event T-shirt, registration ‘goodie’ bag, and all meals from Thursday June 23rd’s Welcome Party through Sunday’s Brunch. In addition, those that register prior to May 15th will have their names entered into a special drawing to win top-notch prizes.

Shore side activities include an opening Parade of Nations, a Welcome Party, raffle, ice cream social, a Bingo night and Caribbean-themed night that includes fire dancers. The fun culminates with a beachside brunch and Awards Ceremony on June 26th.

Trophies will be awarded to the top five in each fleet and top three overall. Additional trophies include the Peter Ives’ Perpetual Trophy, the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Award and the top female sailor. The Sea Star Perpetual Trophy will be inscribed with the names of the sailors on the winning team racing team.

This year’s event will follow an eco-friendly theme. Sailors will be urged to recycle all plastic water bottles, use the reusable water bottle in the goodie bag throughout the regatta, keep all lunch bags and wrapping out of the water and pick up any trash on shore and accept drinks without straws.

For more information, call 340-775-6320; fax: 340-775-3600, or Email: scotiabankregatta@gmail.com. Or, for the Notice of Regatta, Registration Forms, information on hotel discounts and other information, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club web site at www.styc.net

Please also visit the Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta on Facebook!

For charter boats, contact Alisa Forester, McLaughlin Boat Works,

1-800-784-6478, 1-423-875-0740, Email: alias@optistuff.com or http://www.optistuff.com

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