St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Registration is open! The 28th annual International Optimist Regatta (IOR), the TOTE Maritime Clinic and the TOTE Team Race will take place from June 14-20, 2021 at the St. Thomas Yacht Club. More specifically, the Clinic takes place June 14-16, followed by the Team Race, June 17 along with a Parade of Nations and Welcome Party, and the IOR, June 18-20.

“The St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) and the Virgin Island Sailing Association (VISA) invite sailors to register now for the 2021 IOR, Clinic and Team Race,” says clinic and regatta director, Holly Jenkins. “Like many events, the 2020 IOR was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the 2021 event, we, like our fellow directors of the other STYC regatta scheduled this year, have worked closely with the Virgin Islands Department of Health and the Virgin Islands Department of Tourism to plan for a safe regatta. We look forward to welcoming sailors, their friends and families to St. Thomas to race with excellent wind, clear seas and great competition.”

For nearly three decades, the IOR has been recognized throughout the Caribbean and World for providing a great skill-sharpening grounds for top sailors and an excellent entry-level platform for juniors new to the sport. In 2019, a near-record 113 junior sailors from a dozen nations competed.

The 2021 IOR can accept only a maximum of 125 sailors. Therefore, register early at: www.regattanetwork.com/event/21742. The registration fee for the IOR is $275, with late registration after May 15th of $300. The fee to enter the IOR and Clinic is $675, or $400 for the Clinic only. A full refund on registration will be available if the IOR, Clinic and Team Race are canceled on or after May 14, 2021, due to COVID-19.

Some of the best sailors in the sport are expected to participate in this Caribbean Sailing Association-sanctioned regatta. Sailors can compete in Advanced Red (ages 13-15), Blue (ages 11-12) and White (ages 10 and under) as well as the Beginner Green fleet.

Trophies will be awarded to the top five finishers in the Red, Blue and White classes and top three overall as well as the top place female. Participation awards will be awarded to all Green fleet sailors. Additional awards include the Peter Ives’ Perpetual Trophy (superb sailor/individual) and the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Perpetual Trophy.

The IOR is sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, TOTE Maritime and K3 Waterproof Gear.

For charter boats, request and confirm online at www.optistuff.com. Or, contact McLaughlin Boat Works, 1 (423) 875-0740, 1 (423) 875-4040 or Toll-Free in the U.S. 1 (800) 784-6478; Email: sales@optistuff.com Deadline to reserve charter boats is May 14, 2021.

For coach boat charters, contact Jenkins: internationaloptiregatta@gmail.com or Teresa Diehl: mumforddiehl@gmail.com

Traveling to St. Thomas is easy! The following airlines fly direct from major U.S. cities: American (Charlotte, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, New York, Philadelphia), Delta (Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York), Frontier (Orlando), JetBlue (Boston, San Juan), Spirit (Fort Lauderdale), Sun Country (Minneapolis-St. Paul) and United (Houston, Chicago, Newark, Washington Dulles). Airlines connecting St. Thomas to the Caribbean include Air Sunshine, Cape Air and Silver/Seaborne Airlines.

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

Currently, there is a requirement for every traveler aged five or older to submit a COVID-19 test result through the secure online USVI Travel Screening Portal (usvitravelportal.com). For the latest updates or changes to COVID-19 protocols for travelers to the U.S. Virgin Islands, visit usviupdate.com and covid19usvi.com.

For more information, call (340) 513-2234, Email: internationaloptiregatta@gmail.com Or, for the Notice of Regatta (NOR), Registration Form and other information, visit the St. Thomas Yacht Club website at stthomasyachtclub.org/sailing/regattas/international-optimist-regatta or Regatta Network: www.regattanetwork.com/event/21742. Please also visit the International Optimist Regatta on Facebook!

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