They look no bigger than a bathtub and about as seaworthy as a teacup. They are called Optimists, or Optis for short.
Optis are great for training young sailors and as they learn how to sail Optis it’s not long before they start to race them.
Last Thursday with winds gusting to 20 knots and choppy seas, 52 young sailors between the ages of 9 and 15 representing yacht clubs from around the bay converged at Edgewood Yacht Club for the third Narragansett Bay Yachting Association Optimist Regatta of the 2021 season.
Based on their experience, the sailors were divided into two fleets – the Green Fleet for the less season sailors and the Blue or champion fleet. Twenty Edgewood volunteers ran the races on the water and coordinated the logistics on shore. Edgewood resident Chris Lee was the Principal Race Officer for the RWB/Championship Fleet (sailors aged 10-15 with racing experience) and George Shuster of Warwick was the Principal Race Officer for the Green/Novice Fleet (younger and less experienced sailors). Nehuel Armenanzas of Bristol Yacht Club was the regatta’s winner after six races, with first-place finishes in three of those races. Oliver Pascalides of Conanicut Yacht Club took second and Reid Wemple of Conanicut Yacht Club took third. Participating yacht clubs in addition to Edgewood were Jamestown/Conanicut Yacht Club, Greenwich Bay Sailing Association/East Greenwich Yacht Club, Little Compton/Sakonnet Yacht Club, Barrington Yacht Club, Saunderstown Yacht Club, and Bristol Yacht Club