the ‘biggest little regatta in the Caribbean’ the St. Thomas Yacht Club-hosted
Scotiabank Caribbean International Optimist Regatta is set to sail June 16 to
19. A starting line of 80-plus skippers from 8 to 15 years of age is expected
and will hail from all three U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands,
Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Barbados, Trinidad and other Caribbean island nations.
“We are also expecting some sailors from the US National Development team and a
sailing team from Florida,” says regatta director, Karen Rice.
activities will begin Monday June 13 with a three-day clinic taught by Luis
Chiapparro, the former Uruguay World Team Coach, and Scott Norman, the former
US Optimist National Team Coach. The three-day regatta will kick-off Friday
June 16 and end with a beachside BBQ brunch and Awards Ceremony on June 19,
locally celebrated as Father’s Day. A welcoming Pizza Party and DJ Night
highlight other fun activities ashore.
Hot sailors to watch include last year’s overall winner, David Alfonso,
from Puerto Rico, as well as St. Thomas’ Tyler Rice and Ian Barrows, St.
Croix’s Billy Gibbons as well as brothers Morgan and Mack Bryan, Trinidad &
Tobago’s Alastair Affoo, Barbados’ Sarah Douglas and Curacao’s Ard Van Aanholt.
Racing will take
place in Cowpet Bay. “If we can logistically make it happen, we’re trying for a
separate racing area for the Green Fleet (novices), to help them feel more
comfortable racing in larger fleets,” Rice says.
Trophies will be awarded to the top five in
each fleet and top three overall. Additional prizes include the
Commodore’s Trophy and Sportsmanship Award.