Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta,
Sea Star Clinic and Sea Star Team Race
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 in June. A packed agenda includes the Sea Star Clinic, the Sea Star Team Race, and the Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta.
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 eight to 15-year-old junior sailors are expected to attend this Virgin Island Sailing Association and Caribbean Sailing Association sanctioned event.
"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."
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.
"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.
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.
Report submitted by Carol M. Bareuther.