Four Sets Day 1, No Sets Day 2

AP Over Alpha — Tomorrow is Another Day

PENSACOLA, FL (July 16, 2018) By Troy Gilbert with Talbot Wilson -- AP flew over Alpha Monday afternoon telling the young fleet of Opti sailors that racing was postponed for Monday. But the party went on. 

Monday, the 2018 USODA National Championship sailors arrived at Pensacola Yacht Club early, ready to sail after a 4-set day on Sunday. But the weather didn’t cooperate. The race committee, led by Hal Smith PYC Fleet Captain and fleet racing Principal Race Officer (PRO), first hoisted the AP flag announcing a general postponement at 9:30am due to lack of steady winds barely approaching the 4 knot minimum. 

Regatta Chairman Tom Pace, Jr. said, “The challenge was that if we could just squeeze one more set in now, then we could divide the whole fleet into the Gold and Silver fleets, but they can only do that after we have a total of five sets completed. The problem is that we have stormy weather coming in with lightning and rain."  (Continue Reading...)

Tired Opti Sailors Happy with Four Sets of Day-1 Races

PENSACOLA, FL (July 15, 2018) By Troy Gilbert - 2018 Regatta Chairman Tom Pace, Jr. circled the fleet at the helm of his 38’ Jupiter as the sailors rolled through the second set, he states, “This is probably about the best first day you could have for a regatta. We had a little bit of a wait for the wind to come in and we had one very hot light air race that was very tactical. If we can, and our goal is to get three sets in the box, it would be a stellar first day.”


The race committee led by PYC Fleet Captain and fleet racing Principal Race Officer (PRO) actually did better than that.  The crew operating the start and finish lines and markboats around the Optimist Trapezoid course put together four sets of three races each with the young sailors hitting the water at 10:00AM finishing after 5:00PM. 

After the four races, Stephan Baker of Miami leads all sailors with 8 points (1,4,2,1). Malthe Ebdrup of Denmark is second with 9 points (3, 3, 1, 2) and Peter Foley of Coconut Grove FL is third with 18 points (2, 14, 1, 1). Samara Walsh, the top girl so far, is in fourth with 21 points (10,7,2,2). Pensacola sailor Gil Hackel is the top local standing in 13th place. Full results are posted at (Continue Reading...)

As Seen on local ABC Channel 3,

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR), Sunday, July 15, 2018 — Pensacola is hosting the 2018 Optimist National Championships. It’s a huge deal in the sailing community. That was pretty clear from the welcome ceremonies Saturday in downtown Pensacola. Over 300 young sailors will be competing, and they're coming from all over the country and all over the world. England, Brazil, Australia are just some of the 12 foreign countries represented.

Boys and girls ages eight to 15 will compete in lots of different skill level divisions, and include some very elite young sailors. Four days of racing for the national championship starts Sunday out on Pensacola Bay. An all-girls event and a team racing championship will follow, with eight days of racing in all. In a big added bonus for the youngsters, some of the nation’s best professional sailors were in town for the welcome ceremonies. Team members from American Magic, who will represent the US in the next Americas Cup, were mingling and inspiring. (Watch the video here)...

Measurement & Check-in/Greetings

PENSACOLA, FL (July 13, 2018) By Troy Gilbert -- The first sailors made their way into Pensacola Bay on Spanish galleons in 1559 and now, for the next ten days, the newest generation of future world class sailors will etch their names to that long history on the water competing in the USODA Optimist Nationals, the Girls Optimist National Championship and the Optimist Team Race National Championship.

Founded in 1908 and one of the premier yacht clubs in the Gulf Yachting Association and the Florida Council of Yacht Clubs, the sprawling oak lined grounds of the Pensacola Yacht Club are teeming with the energy and excitement of 300 young sailors and their support teams, parents and coaches as the first day of measurements and check-ins got underway.

With sailors hailing from Canada, Great Britain, Denmark, Brazil, the U.A.E., Australia, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S.A., there’s an international air and World Cup spirit already at play as the afternoon breeze freshens from the waters of the bay and Gulf of Mexico. And it's only Friday. Racing starts Sunday.   (Continue Reading)...  

Gala Opening Ceremony Featuring US America's Cup Challenger

Pensacola, Florida,  July 11, 2018 By Talbot Wilson — Join the 300 young Optimist  National Sailors, their siblings, parents, coaches to celebrate International Optimist Dinghy sailing in Pensacola and learn about American Magic, the New York Yacht Club's U.S. challenge for the 36th America's Cup. It's happening in Downtown Pensacola at the Gala Opening of the 2018 Optimist Nationals this Saturday evening at 5:30 in the Saenger Theater.  The Opening Ceremony will be live streamed worldwide over Facebook.
Visit 2018 Optimist Nationals for information.  (Continue Reading)... 

Countdown to 2018 Optimist Nationals

Pensacola, Florida,  June 14, 2018 — The countdown to the 2018 Optimist Nationals at Pensacola Yacht Club continues. Check-in and measurement — July 13 & 14 — for the July 15 start of racing is one month from today. Opti parents, famous for late entry in their events, will be finalizing plans this week. So far, organizers expect competitors from the four corners of the U.S. and 14 countries including Australia, Brazil, Dubai, several European countries and more. Registration is on-line only at (Continue Reading)...

Change is Good: New Optimist Team Race Championship Entry Deadline Set for May 21st

Pensacola, Florida,  March 27, 2018 —  The team entry deadline for Pensacola’s 2018 Optimist Team Race National Championship has been extended. The new team entry deadline is midnight CDT, Monday, May 21, 2018. The names of the individual four or five team members are not due until midnight July 5. The amended NOR is posted at under "USODA Regatta Calendar." (Continue Reading)...  

British Optimist Association Sending a Team for US Nationals in Florida, March 4, 2018  —  John Perham, International Optimist Class Association (IOCA) UK spokesperson said, "This event promises to be a fantastic opportunity for our Development Team sailors as the event at Pensacola Yacht Club comprises of a National Championship, Girls Championship and Team Racing Championship. Over the years we've enjoyed having USA teams represented at the British Nationals. We are delighted this year, to be able to support the US Optimist Dinghy Association by sending a GBR team to attend the US National Championships." (Continue Reading)...

British Optis Will Head to Pensacola’s US Optimist National Championships

Pensacola, Florida,  March 1, 2018 — Great Britain's National Optimist Dinghy Association, IOCA UK, is excited to announce that following Selections in May, this year's Development Team will be heading to the 2018 USODA US Nationals in Pensacola, Florida from 13 - 22 July 2018. (Continue Reading)... 

Optimist Class Returns to Florida

Scuttlebutt Sailing News, February 27, 2018 — 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. (Continue Reading)... — News About the Opti 2018 Nationals @ PYC

Pensacola, Florida,  February 22, 2018 —  View the latest 2018 Opti Nationals @ Pensacola Yacht Club press release published by Sail World (the World's Largest Sailing News Network), written by PYC's Talbot Wilson. (Continue Reading)...

Registration Opens for 2018 Optimist Nationals

Pensacola, Florida,  February 21, 2018 —  Registration is now open online at for the three-event 2018 Optimist Nationals scheduled for July 13-22 at Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) in Northwest Florida. A separate Notice of Race for each of these three national events is also posted on the site. (Continue Reading)...

Pensacola Yacht Club to Host 2018 Optimist Nationals

Pensacola, Florida,  November 16, 2017 — The United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) has selected Pensacola Yacht Club (PYC) to host their 2018 Optimist Nationals. This will be a week-long sailing spectacular on Pensacola Bay showcasing the nation's best International Optimist Dinghy sailors 8 to 15 years old. (Continue Reading)...