Only four points separated the top five sailors going into the third and final day of racing at the 20th Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta, held out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club, U.S. Virgin Islands, June 22nd –24th. After three final races in 12 to 15 knot winds, it came down to a tie-breaker to determine 14-year-old Will Logue, from Riverside, Connecticut, the overall winner, topping nearly 100 other sailors.
“I didn’t do well in the second race this morning, so it was really close. But I came back strong in the last race to win,” says Logue. “My strategy is always to stay positive and do the best I can.”
This was Logue’s first trip to the Caribbean. “What I really like here are the heavy winds,” he says. “It was great sailing.”
Logue won not only the overall championship, but also the 13-to-15-year-old Red Fleet.
In the 11-to-12-year-old Blue Fleet, it was Ivan Shestopalov from Miami, Florida, who finished first.
The BVI’s Thad Lettsome won the age ten and under White Fleet. This is impressive since Lettsome has only been sailing for a little over a year in the Royal BVI Yacht Club Sailing Program.
“It was fun,” says Lettsome. “It was also the biggest regatta I’ve sailed in to date. I just tried to stay left or right, whatever direction the wind was coming from.”
The Dominican Republic’s Justina Pacheco earned the Top Girl award.
In the beginner Green Fleet, it was Mateo DiBlasi from St. John, USVI, who took a commanding lead to win. “I always went where there was the most wind,” says the nine-year-old. “Now, my next race I get to go in White Fleet. That will be hard, but I’m ready.”
Will Logue also won the Pete Ives Award, given for a combination of sailing prowess, sportsmanship, determination and good attitude both on and off the water.
The USVI’s Maggie Finley earned the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Award.
A record 127 sailors competed in the Advanced Red, Blue and White Fleets and beginner Green Fleet. The Advanced Fleets completed 11 races and the Green Fleet a total of 16 races over the three days of competition. Sailors hailed from 16 nations – Antigua, the Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Canada, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, Spain, St. Maarten, Trinidad & Tobago, the USA and USVI.
For full results, visit: www.regattanetwork.com. For information about the regatta, visit: www.styc.net
Report by Carol M. Bareuther