Young USVI sailor Tanner Krygsveld, 14, who led the three days of the 28th International Optimist Regatta, from the opening Friday, finished the way he started, bringing home the win over a field of competitors representing six nations and territories – Antigua, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, U.S.A, and all three U.S. Virgin Islands.
Battling winds of 15 to 18 knots, Krygsveld finished Sunday’s first race in second and ultimately won the 10-race regatta by 16 points. This makes Krygsveld the fourth U.S. Virgin Islander in the IOR’s almost three-decade history to champion the event, with Cy Thompson, Teddy Nicolosi and Mia Nicolosi having done so in 2000, 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to a news release Sunday from the race’s host, the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte, whose department was among the sponsors of the event, congratulated all the competitors.
“These young sailors are the future of the sport, and I am proud to celebrate and support their accomplishments. I also commend the St. Thomas Yacht Club for another seamless sailing event and for ensuring that public health protocols were followed. We look forward to welcoming participants and visitors to the Regattas and marine events for the remainder of the year,” Boschulte said.
Krygsveld’s first place also put him at the top of the 13- to 15-year-old Red Fleet.
“The thought I had going into today was to maintain my lead,” Krygsveld said. “There were two races left, so I thought if I could lead the first one, I could relax on the second and that’s what happened. I actually finished 19th in the last race after I fouled another sailor at the start and to take a 720-penalty turn,” says Krygsveld.
Krygsveld will travel to Lake Garda, Italy, with his fellow USVI Optimist teammates to compete in the Optimist World Championships, June 30-July 10.
Krygsveld is the only sailor in this event’s history to win the IOR, the TOTE Team Race, and the Volvo Race held after the TOTE Clinic held earlier in the week, according to the news release.
Fellow Red Fleet sailor, 14-year-old Sophia De Leon Urban, from Miami, Florida’s Coral Reef Yacht Club, earned the Top Female award. De Leon Urban finished 7th in Red and 10th overall.
“I try not to think I’m sailing against the boys, but that they are just other competitors. It’s getting past that and sail fast,” De Leon Urban said.
In the age 11- to 12-year-old Blue Fleet, 12-year-old Alfonso Lanseros, representing the Coral Reef Yacht Club, finished first and third overall.
“This was the second time I’ve sailed in St. Thomas. That experience helped me to know the conditions and what to do in the waves, winds and currents,” Lanseros said.
Rounding out the Championship Fleet, 10-year-old William Michael from Austin, Texas, who sails with the Lakewood Yacht Club, topped the age 10 and younger White Fleet.
“I’ve experienced this much wind before, but not this big of waves,” says Michael, speaking of the four-to-six-foot seas off the south side of St. Thomas, where racing took place. “In the clinic, I learned to hold my spot on the line in a lot of wind, and that helped during the regatta.”
Meanwhile, it was 12-year-old Juan Gonzalez, from Salinas, Puerto Rico, sailing for Club Nautico de San Juan, who won the Beginner Green Fleet after a total of 18 races.
“It was very windy, and the winds variated a lot. I liked it. My goal was to start between the middle and the pin end of the line because that’s where there was the most wind,” Gonzalez said.
In other awards, Florida’s Isabel Veiga from Lauderdale Yacht Club earned the Pete Ives Award, given for a combination of sailing prowess, sportsmanship, determination and good attitude both on and off the water. Connecticut’s Avery Beck, from Indian Harbor Yacht Club, earned the Chuck Fuller Sportsmanship Award.
A WEEK OF SAILING
The one-day TOTE Team Racing Championships took place, Thursday. Out of 16 teams, the winner was Team CRYC Spectra. Team members are Alfonso Lanseros of Miami, FL, Sophie De Leon Urban of Miami, Will Barnhart of Miami, Sebastian Johan van de Kreeke of Miami and Krygsveld of St. Thomas.
The IOR was organized under the authority of the Virgin Islands Sailing Association, and it is a Caribbean Sailing Association-sanctioned event.
This year’s event followed an eco-friendly theme, the host’s news release said. Sailors were encouraged 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, pick up any trash on shore and accept drinks without straws.
The IOR is sponsored by the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism, TOTE Maritime, K3 and MSI.
Results are available online.
Top 5 Finishers by Fleet
1. Tanner Krygsveld, St. Thomas, USVI (26)
2. Richard Sykes, CT, USA (42)
3. Will Barnhart, FL, USA (54)
4. Jose Guillermo Diaz, PR (76)
5. Gian Marco Piovanetti, FL, USA & PR (89)
1. Alfonso Lanseros, FL, USA (51)
2. Beck Brill, FL, USA (91)
3. Emilio Bocanegra, FL, USA (101)
4. Kyla Benesch, FL, USA (188)
5. Diego Ewinger, ANT (200)
1. William Michael, TX, USA (319)
2. Patrick McNamara, TX, USA (410)
3. Miles Gordon, CA, USA (482)
4. Jack Meade, LA, USA (553)
5. Kailee Moure, FL, USA (566)
1. Juan Gonzalez, PR (79)
2. Diego Sepulveda, PR (82)
3. Diego Rivera Hermida, PR (108)
4. Kayaan Panthaki, FL, USA (116)
5. Rafael Vazquez, PR (120)