The 2012 Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta (SIOR) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary, marking two decades of fostering junior sailing in the Caribbean. Registration is now open for the regatta and kick-off Sea Star Clinic and Sea Star Team Race to be held June 18-24. Renowned as one of the first and largest regattas in the Caribbean to promote youth sailing, the 2012 SIOR welcomes participants this year from around the world.
“We are looking forward to strong representation from Caribbean sailors this year with a record number of sailors from St. Maarten/St. Martin already registered,” said regatta director, Margo Lynch. “We have heard from teams in Canada, New Zealand and Bermuda as well, in addition to large numbers of U.S. sailors.”
Over 80 ages 8 to 15-year-old junior sailors are expected to attend this regatta hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club and Virgin Island Sailing Association, and sanctioned by the Caribbean Sailing Association.
"Scotiabank has been a strong supporter of the International Optimist Regatta since the very beginning, some 20 years ago. As a title sponsor of this annual event, through our global philanthropic vision, the Scotiabank Bright Future Program, we bring together the passion of our employees, the insight of our partners and the spirit of our community. Scotiabank believes in the importance of encouraging kids to get active and involved in sports. It helps them lead healthy lifestyles, improves self-esteem, and fosters a sense of belonging," said Lawrence Aqui, vice president, U.S. Virgin Islands.
The Sea Star Clinic begins Monday, June 18, and runs through Wednesday, June 20. Top international coaches from Optisailors.com such as Agustin ‘Argy’ Resano, Gonzalo ‘Bocha’ Pollitzer, Manuel ‘Manny’ Resano, and Esteban ‘Pilo’ Rocha, as well as Eric Bardes from Team FOR (Florida Ocean Racing), Santiago Galan, U.S. Virgin Islands team coach, and USA team coach, Justine O’Connor, will teach the sailors registered for the clinic.
Cost of the clinic is $300 for non-U.S. Virgin Islands’ registrants and $275 for U.S. Virgin Islands’ residents, and includes breakfast and lunch for the three days. Clinic registration closes on May 15.
The Sea Star Team Racing event is scheduled for June 21st. “We look forward to over 12 teams competing this year,” said Lynch. Entry fee for the team racing is $160 per team of four sailors. Registration closes at 5 p.m. on June 20.
"Sea Star Line is very pleased to sponsor the 2012 Sea Star Line Clinic and Team Race for the fifth consecutive year,” said Keith McSwain, district manager. “Because we believe lessons learned on the water are life changing, we take great pride in promoting the youth in events that help them build a sense of self-confidence, purpose and discipline in an environment where sportsmanship is as important as just having fun.”
The three-day Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta kicks off Friday, June 22.
The regatta entry fee is $185 by April 15. After this date, the fee goes up to $225 by May 15 and $250 after May 15. Those that register prior to May 15 will have their names entered into a special drawing to win top-notch prizes. Final registration takes place June 21. The entry fee includes an event T-shirt, registration ‘goodie’ bag and all meals from the Thursday, June 21st welcome party through Sunday’s brunch.
Shore side activities include an opening Parade of Nations, a welcome party, raffle, 20th Anniversary Party, 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 24.
Trophies will be awarded to the top five sailors in each fleet and top three overall. Additional trophies include the Peter Ives’ Perpetual Trophy, the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Award and the top female sailor. The Sea Star Perpetual Trophy will be inscribed with the names of the sailors on the winning team racing team.
This year’s event will follow an eco-friendly theme. Sailors will be urged to recycle all plastic water bottles, use the reusable water bottle in the goodie bag throughout the regatta, keep all lunch bags and wrapping out of the water and pick up any trash on shore and accept drinks without straws.