Optimist Class returns to Florida

The three-event 2018 Optimist US Nationals is scheduled for July 13-22 at Pensacola Yacht Club in Pensacola, FL.

All qualified Opti sailors, not just sailors from the USA, are invited to come to compete on Pensacola Bay in the four-day Optimist National Championship, the one-day Optimist Girls National Championship, and the three-day Optimist Team Race National Championship.

Organizers expect between 350 to 450 sailors aged 8 to 15 years old, one coach per 10 participants, plus the sailor’s parents and family.

This year, in a change from previous years, the overall Optimist US National Championship leads the schedule on July 15 to 18. The Optimist Girls National Championship will be sailed July 19 and the Optimist Team Race Championship wrap up the action July 20 to 22. Prizes are awarded after each event.

Participants are urged to make hotel or rental reservations early because July is ‘high season’ in Pensacola. Also, the very popular “Blue Angels” summer airshow at Pensacola Beach is Saturday, July14th.

Under the direction of Hal Smith, PYC’s Fleet Captain and Principal Race Officer (PRO), many of the 115 volunteers, Race Committee and Race Officers from the 2015 Optimist US Nationals at PYC will be back with that experience behind them to run a first class regatta that will showcase the club and the Pensacola Bay area as a choice venue for future championship regattas.

All Opti sailors are invited to come to Pensacola early to practice. Opti racing kicks off this summer at PYC with the USA Junior Olympics-Gulf Coast. Clinics, registration and measurement will be on June 29 and racing is scheduled for June 30 and July 1. Details will be posted at Junior Sailing at PYC.

Optimists, Lasers and Club 420’s will be racing in the JO’s with the Optis sailing the same official trapezoid course planned for the Nationals. PYC will begin hosting its annual Summer Sailing Camps June 4th to help develop local sailor’s skills for the Nationals or to build the beginners confidence up to enter Green Fleet racing during the Nationals.

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