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Fishing Bay Yacht Club to host Opti Nationals

Sponsorships are available

Optimist sailors beat upwind during the 2004 USODA Atlantic Coast Championship.  (photo by Dave Dunnigan)
Two years ago, in June 2007, The Flying Scot North American Championships were hosted by Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville. It was considered an exceptional regatta that attracted approximately 120 Flying Scots and their adult sailors. The event was so successful it received the US Sailing One Design Regatta Management of the Year Award. 

This July, Fishing Bay Yacht Club and numerous other local organizations will host another national racing event in that same sailing area, attracting as many as 400 boats, but this time captained by youth sailors.

The 2010 United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) Nationals will be held in Deltaville July 17-24 and could attract as many as 350 young sailors from all across the country. They will be racing the Optimist pram (aka the Opti). The Opti is a single-handed, gaff-rigged, centerboard sailing pram used by USODA in the U.S. and as the International Optimist Dinghy (IOD) worldwide. The event also will involve racing by teams of four boats against four boats using team race tactics.

The original Opti was built and commissioned in 1947 in Clearwater, Florida, by boat builder Clark Mills. At the time, the Opti was conceived as a nautical version of a Soap Box Derby racer. The popularity of the boat has grown to the degree that it is the principal boat for youth sailing competition around the world. It has been estimated that there may be as many as tens of thousands on the water.

The average age of the young sailors who will be coming to Deltaville in July is approximately 8, although children can continue to race Optis until they are 16.

With the Committee Boat visible, optimists sailors head upwind just after a start at the 2004 USODA Atlantic Coast Championship.  (photo by Dave Dunnigan)

When asked why Fishing Bay Yacht Club was approached to host this prestigious event, Noel Clinard, FBYC co-chair of the event, responded, “FBYC was asked to host this event due to its superb Junior Sailing Program and because of its performance in hosting prior USODA, US Sailing and Flying Scot events. We accepted the invitation because, when asked, key members of the Deltaville community and parents were incredibly enthusiastic, volunteering their support almost before they knew what they were volunteering to do.”

Clinard continued, “While FBYC is the host club, we are fortunate to have received the support of many local organizations providing facilities, in-kind contributions and funding.”

To date, those local hosts are: Deltaville Boatyard, Deltaville Community Association (DCA), Deltaville Maritime Museum, Jackson Creek Condos, Harbor House, Norton Yacht Sales and Christchurch School. The entire event will be conducted under the auspices of DCA, and the main headquarters will be in the fields of the Deltaville Maritime Museum.

Clinard was quick to point out that if anyone is interested in becoming a sponsor, opportunities continue to exist to do so.

The website for the regatta is Those interested in becoming a sponsor, offering or renting their home to traveling families, or participating in some other way, please be in touch with any of the committee members listed on the website.

posted 01.26.2010

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