About the 2018 opti nationals @ PYC

The Racers

The regatta, hosted by Pensacola Yacht Club, will be a week-long sailing spectacular 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 Dates

Check-in and Measurement: Saturday, July 14

Opening Ceremony: Sunday morning, July 15, before the Skippers Meeting

Opti National Championship Racing: Sunday, July 15 through Wednesday, July 18
Awards Ceremony: Wednesday, July 18, following final race 

Regatta Dinner: Monday evening, July 16

Opti Girls National Championship Racing: Thursday, July 19
Awards Ceremony: Thursday, July 19, following final race

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

Awards Ceremony: Sunday, July 22, following final race

Practice Racing: Opti racers can perfect their skills at PYC the week before the 2018 Opti Nationals and also during PYC’s US Sailing Junior Olympic Sailing Festival earlier in July.

Start Planning Now

Organizers expect between 350 to 450 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.

How to Register

Visit the United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) website to register for the race. 2018 Opti National Championship racers need to be USODA members in good standing. If you are planning to race but are not currently a member, click on their "Join USODA" link to purchase a membership first.


It takes many dedicated volunteers to make this regatta possible. PYC’s USODA Committee needs your HELP. 

Check-in for the 2018 Optimist Nationals takes place on July 14th, and one week of

daily racing starts July 15th and ends July 22nd. Please consider signing up for:

Race Committee / Check-In Staff / Information & Hospitality / Parking Directors & Land Management

Patrol Boats with Drivers / Press Boats with Drivers / Spectator Boats with Drivers / General All-Around Help

Email Tom Pace, Regatta Director, at TomRaceChair@gmail.com to sign up.

Be sure to indicate where you'd like to volunteer, along with the dates/times you're available.

Check out this awesome YouTube video from the 

2015 Opti National Championship Regatta held at 

Pensacola Yacht Club.

Contact Us

PYC 2018 Optimist Nationals Regatta

Chairman: Tom Pace, Jr., Email: TomRaceChair@gmail.com, Cell: 850-572-6727


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

Email: hal_smith@mindspring.com, Cell: 864-275-6290


Marketing and Communications Director: Talbot Wilson

Email: talbot@talbotwilson.com, Cell: 850-217-7138

Pensacola Yacht Club

1897 Cypress Street, Pensacola, Florida 32502 USA

Phone: 850-433-8804