Harken Derm

Friendly Competition Between Optimist Clubs

Published on November 11th, 2016

On Saturday and Sunday, November 12-13, 2016, the South Carolina Yacht Club will host the second annual Optimist Pram Team Invitational Presented by Zim Sailing on beautiful Hilton Head Island, SC.

This year came with new challenges due to the destruction left by Hurricane Matthew. However, the Jr. Sailing Committee, members, sponsors, and executive board have rallied together to continue the tradition of throwing a grand regatta unlike any other on the Optimist racing circuit.

The South Carolina Yacht Club and event founders combined the concept of the original America’s Cup Regatta with the traditional southern hospitality the state is known for to create this unique and increasingly more prestigious event.

Like in the early years of the America’s Cup, sailors will compete on behalf of their yacht clubs, full of pride, passion, and sportsmanship for their home club, the sport of sailing, and their peers. Winners will be awarded the perpetual Paul Miller memorial trophy, an impressive and sizeable trophy they can bring home for the year and put on display at their home club.

Competitors attending the 2016 Optimist Pram Team Invitational Presented by Zim Sailing will receive three complimentary hotel rooms per team courtesy of the Sonesta Resort and Spa on Hilton Head Island, as well as meals provided by the South Carolina Yacht Club and Local Pie, a true local dining experience on the island. The event’s Presenting Sponsor, Zim Sailing, is providing a fleet of 18 identical boats.

In conjunction with the Windmill Harbour Property Owners and the Windmill Harbour Marina, the event will continue to be a one of a kind team racing event in the United States.

This year the event will have two international teams, Royal Canadian Yacht Club of Toronto competing for a second time and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron making its inaugural trip to the low country.

Returning champions Fishing Bay Yacht Club, one of the premier junior teams in the Chesapeake Bay and maybe the country, will bring back another strong team. Edgewater Yacht Club form Cleveland last year’s runner up will be bringing back almost an identical team to make a run at the Paul Miller trophy. Florida Yacht Club, a seasoned group of sailors from the Jacksonville area who like the South Carolina Yacht Club, are expanding a program still in its infancy and looking to make a mark on the national stage. Jodi Weinbecker the waterfront director at Florida Yacht Club successfully hosted the largest South East Championship for the USODA in past memory.

The South Carolina Yacht Club will bring a team of veterans from the USODA circuit with the goal of keeping the Paul Miller trophy in the trophy room at the South Carolina Yacht Club. This event will be a swan song for the veterans before they age out and compete in other junior classes.

Any yacht club team can submit an intent form through the South Carolina Yacht Club website, http://www.scyachtclub.com/opti-intent

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