Congratulations to the champions and all competitors. It's been a memorable ten days. We've posted lots of photos, videos, and news on this website. Take a look! Visit for final scores: National Championship (July 15-18, 2018), Girls National Championship (July 19, 2018), and Team Race National Championship (July 20-22, 2018).

The 2018 Optimist Nationals Magazine

2018 Opti Nationals Combo Video


We've combined all of the 2018 Optimist Nationals daily fun videos produced by Barnes & Co. of Pensacola.  There were challenging 2 to 18 knot summer landbreeze-seabreeze conditions on Pensacola Bay.

Enjoy the video and let us know on Facebook what you thought of PYC and the racing on Pensacola Bay -- or you can scroll to the bottom of this page and send your comments. Please SHARE the video with your friends...

About the 2018 opti nationals @ PYC

The Racers

The regatta is a week-long sailing spectacular, hosted by PYC on Pensacola Bay, showcasing the best Optimist dinghy sailors (both national and international) between the ages of 8 to 15 years old. 

Three Great Championships - One Comprehensive Event

The event is really three big championships: (1) the overall Optimist National Championship; (2) the Optimist Girls National Championship; and (3) the Optimist Team Race National Championship. There will be Green Fleet coaching and racing for beginners, too.

Regatta Schedule

Check-in and Measurement:  Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14, 10 am to 6 pm

Saturday at 5 pm, Downtown Pensacola:  A gathering of Opti Sailors with their state or nation flags with photos will take place. A Gala Celebration will follow.

Opti National Championship Racing: Sunday, July 15 through Wednesday, July 18
Awards Ceremony w/Heavy Hors D'Oeuvres: Wednesday, July 18, following final race 

Regatta Dinner: Monday evening, July 16

Opti Girls National Championship Racing: Thursday, July 19
Awards Ceremony w/Heavy Hors D'Oeuvres: Thursday, July 19, following final race

Opti Team Race National Championship Racing: Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22

Awards Ceremony w/Heavy Hors D'Oeuvres: Sunday, July 22, following final race

Travel Planning

Organizers expect more than 300 young sailors, one coach per 10 participants, plus sailors' parents and family. The 2018 Opti Nationals will likely be the largest sports tourism event of the year in northwest Florida with more than 1,500 people expected to arrive for the week-long regatta. For this reason, participants are urged to make hotel or rental reservations early because it is "high season" in Pensacola, and the very popular “Blue Angels” summer airshow at Pensacola Beach happens on Saturday, July 14. 

Make lodging reservations through Pensacola’s central tourism bureau at and get more Pensacola area sports information at Pensacola Sports and the Florida Sports Association both support the Optimist Nationals at PYC. 

About the Optimist Dinghy

The Optimist Dinghy: "Opti"

  • The Opti is being raced in over 120 countries by over 160,000 skippers. It is one of only two yachts approved by World Sailing exclusively for sailors under 16. At the London Olympics, nearly 80% of all boat skippers were former dinghy sailors, most of them having reached international level in the International Optimist Class.

How It All Began

  • The history of the Optimist pram (forerunner of the dinghy) began in August 1947 in Clearwater, Florida. Major Clifford A. McKay came up with the original concept and then asked Clark Mills, a boat designer, to build it. In November 1947, a fleet of eight raced in Clearwater Bay. The first large regatta was held in December of 1948 . . . Read more about the Opti's origins here.

PYC Junior Sailing

  • Pensacola Yacht Club's Jr. Sailing program offers year 'round sailing instruction, including summer sailing camps and regional competitions for the youth of the community. Optis, monohull keelboards, Flying Scots, sailboards, Lasers, and 420s are sailed. Visit the PYC Junior Sailing website.   

PYC Junior Sailing Program

PYC's Junior Sailing Program  (PjYC) encourages camaraderie among young sailors and promotes sportsmanship on and off the water. PjYC is pleased to have world-renowned racer, César Travado, from Spain as Sailing Director. He has established a relentless training program for our young sailors. For more information on joining the program, contact César at

PYC: "The South's Finest Yacht Club"

Pensacola Yacht Club, chartered in 1908, is a private club for members and their guests situated on 17 acres at the mouth of Chico Bayou. Enjoy the full-service restaurant and bar, banquet, and meeting rooms, and large, modern swimming pool.


The club offers breathtaking views of Pensacola Bay, a totally new marina, and a sandy beach for swimming, kayaking, and launching small boats. PYC is an exceptional venue for large racing regattas, training programs such as US Sailing's Safety at Sea Courses, and special events.

Local Sponsors

local grant partners

USODA Gold Partners

USODA Silver Partners

Contact Us

PYC 2018 Optimist Nationals Regatta

Chairman: Tom Pace, Jr., Email:

Cell: 850-572-6727


Principal Race Officer (PRO) and Fleet Captain: Hal Smith

Email:, Cell: 864-275-6290


Marketing and Communications Director: Talbot Wilson

Email:, Cell: 850-217-7138

Pensacola Yacht Club

1897 Cypress Street, Pensacola, Florida 32502 USA

Phone: 850-433-8804