MARINA DEL REY – Youngsters, tweens and teens from all over Southern California and nationwide will have a chance to compete in a series of races during the 2014 U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) Nationals at California Yacht Club, July 19 to 27.
Hosted by California YC and sponsored by the Jim and Nelly Kilroy Foundation, the annual event allows young racers an opportunity to come together and test their sailing skills in a competitive, educational and fun setting.
“We’re looking forward to having these young people from all over the nation in Marina del Rey,” said Bill Watkins, chair of the 2014 USODA Nationals. “It’s a great championship.”
Sailors will race their Optimists on Santa Monica Bay on a course either outside or inside the breakwater. The racing categories include: Team Race National Championships, USODA Girls National Championship, USODA National Championship and the Green Fleet, which is intended for younger, less experienced sailors.
A Sailing into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Carnival will also be hosted by California YC from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., July 25. The interactive hands-on exhibit will feature the STEM subjects as they relate to sailing. One-design expert Chris Snow of North Sails will also speak during the carnival.
The display is part of the club’s effort to play its part in the nationally recognized movement to improve STEM skills in today’s youth. The focus is closely tied into Reach, a program inspired by Kilroy, with funding from the John B. and Nelly Llanos Kilroy Foundation and U.S. Sailing. Reach challenges today’s youth to reach higher academically, further intellectually and develop a daily practice of discovery. The curriculum aligns national education standard to sailing techniques.
The championship regatta will conclude with separate award ceremonies honoring the winners of the individual fleets. A closing ceremony will take place Sunday, July 27.
Watkins anticipates 240 to 250 sailors to participate in the championship regatta. Sailors will average between 8 to 15 years in age.
California YC is located at 4469 Admiralty Way in Marina del Rey. For more information on the 2014 USODA Nationals and for a schedule of events, visit usodanationals-2014.org.