St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Registration opens on January 17th at 12:00 pm AST! The 29th annual International Optimist Regatta (IOR), the TOTE Maritime Clinic, and the TOTE Team Race will take place from June 13-19, 2022 at the St. Thomas Yacht Club. More specifically, the TOTE Clinic takes place June 13-15, followed by the TOTE Team Race, June 16, and the IOR June 17-19. For nearly three decades, this week-long event 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. Overall, Caribbean Journal named the U.S. Virgin Islands the Yachting Destination of the Year in its Caribbean Travel Awards 2022.

“The St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) invites sailors to register as early as possible for the 2022 IOR, TOTE Clinic, and TOTE Team Race. We expect the event to fill up quickly,” says Emily Zimmerman, regatta director, and STYC Commodore. Like in 2021, we 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.”

Photo: Over 100 junior sailors from several nations participated in the 2021 IOR. Credit: Dean Barnes.

The 2022 IOR can accept only a maximum of 125 sailors. Therefore, register early at: www.regattanetwork.com/event/23549 The registration fee for the IOR is $300, with late registration after May 15th of $325. The fee to enter the IOR and TOTE Clinic before May 15th is $700 or $725 after, or $400 for the TOTE Clinic only. A full refund on registration will be available if the IOR, TOTE Clinic, and TOTE Team Race are canceled on or after May 14, 2022, due to COVID-19.

“In keeping in line with TOTE’s emphasis for safety, reliability, and commitment, TOTE is again honored to sponsor the TOTE Clinic and the TOTE Team Race for the 12th year. TOTE is proud to be associated with the International Optimist Regatta 2022,” says Clarence Nibbs, Terminal Manager USVI, for TOTE Maritime.

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 the K3 Company.

MAKE PLANS NOW!

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, 2022.

For coach boat charters, contact Zimmerman: internationaloptiregatta@gmail.com or stycsailing@gmail.com

Traveling to St. Thomas is easy! The following airlines fly direct from major U.S. cities: American (Charlotte, Dallas-Fort Worth, Miami, New York, Philadelphia), Delta (Atlanta, New York), Frontier (Miami, Orlando), JetBlue (Boston, Newark, New York), Spirit (Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando), and United (Chicago, Houston, Newark, Washington Dulles). Airlines connecting St. Thomas to the Caribbean include Air Sunshine, Cape Air, Sea Flight, 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 (408) 314-7119, or 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/23549. Please also visit the International Optimist Regatta on Social Media!

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