USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals 2016 – Dreams Start Here

Portsmouth, R.I. (March 30, 2016) – Are you ready to take your racing skills to the next level, get access to great coaching, meet new friends, and have a blast on and off the water? You can make it happen at a USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival in 2016.

2016-JO-logoThe USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival is a nationwide series of regattas for youth sailors ages 8 to 21. Each event in this series of regattas is hosted by a different club or organization, but all the events share a common goal: to promote the enjoyment of sailing and development of skills for young sailors, and provide an Olympic pathway for talented youth racers. These events mix Olympic-style competition with elements of learning and fun for all levels, from beginners to those with Olympic aspirations.

US Sailing Team Sperry women’s 470 sailor, Annie Haeger, has fond memories from her Junior Olympic experiences. “The Junior Olympics was the first event I ever competed in with the word “Olympics” in it,” said US Sailing’s 2015 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. “There are podiums and medals handed out, just like the real thing. Not only is the event a great learning experience, but it also acted as a great information sharing opportunity between kids. The Junior Olympics provides a platform for kids looking to jump to the next level and push each other while learning from one another. Good luck to all of those competing this summer!”

The 2016 USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival schedule is packed with 28 events in 17 states. Every year over 4,000 young sailors compete in USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals hosted by yacht clubs and sailing centers around the country. The 2016 season launches this spring with one event in April and two in May. The bulk of the schedule takes place this summer with 20 events slated for June, July and August. The season culminates in the fall and winter with two events in October and two in December, including the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta (Miami, Fla.) – the pinnacle USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival event.

“Hawaii’s Junior Olympic Sailing Festival provides a focal point for our summer programs and helps get sailors to the next level in the four classes we offer,” said Scott Melander, Co-Chairman of the USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival in Hawaii.

Team racing bursts onto the scene with two pilot events slated for 2016. Watch Hill Yacht Club in Westerly, RI will host a Club 420 Team Race in July and an Opti Team Race in August. US Sailing looks to expand this nationally, while providing team racing event management resources to organizers.

Find a USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival near you and register today!

Participation is on the rise at USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals. In 2015, this series featured 26 events and 4,012 participants – a 22% increase in over 2014. Two new Skill Builder Clinics were conducted with the goal of building the skills of sailors, broadening the curriculum for program directors, coaches and instructors and expanding the expertise of local race managers and volunteers.

More skill builder clinics will be scheduled in 2016, including Mentor Harbor Yacht Club (Cleveland, Ohio) on June 10-12, Lake Forest Sailing (Lake Forest, Ill.) on June 25-26, Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich.) on July 29-31 and Rochester Yacht Club (Rochester, NY) on July 29-31.

“US Sailing provides Skill Builder Clinics where coaches can collaborate and improve the overall level of competition,” said Mitch Hall, Assistant Coach at the College of Charleston and Skill Builder Clinic coach. “Lead coaches bring national and international experience to the regional level in order to maintain the Junior Olympic Festivals as a pathway to success for the next generation of youth sailors.”

Coaches can sharpen their skills by getting their sailors involved and participating themselves as instructors or coaches at upcoming USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals in their area. These regattas also serve as outstanding training opportunities for race officials and

Please post the 2016 schedule on your organization’s website, and share through your email communications and social media using hashtag – #gojo16.

Do you want to host a USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival? For more information, including details on the Skill Builder Clinic program, contact US Sailing’s Inshore Director Lee Parks at

Watch videos and learn more about USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals.

USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festivals are coordinated by US Sailing and sponsored nationally by Sperry, Gill and New England Ropes.

Contact: Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications,


About US Sailing
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team Sperry. For more information, please visit

About Sperry
Sperry was founded in 1935 by avid sailor, inventor and intrepid explorer Paul Sperry. From the invention of the world’s first boat shoe to a full collection of sea-tested lifestyle products, Sperry equips all those who believe the best stories are written with their feet. Proud sponsor of the United States Sailing Team and numerous world-class regattas, Sperry is distributed around the world at independent and department stores in North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America, Sperry specialty retail stores and at Sperry® is a division of Wolverine World Wide, Inc. one of the world’s leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s and uniform footwear and apparel. The Company’s portfolio of highly recognized brands also includes: Merrell®, Hush Puppies®, Saucony®, Wolverine®, Keds®, Stride Rite®, Sebago®, Cushe®, Chaco®, Bates®, HYTEST®, and Soft Style®. The Company also is the global footwear licensee of the popular brands Cat® and Harley-Davidson®. The Company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in approximately 200 countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our website,

About Gill North America
Gill NA, with headquarters near Atlanta, GA is the exclusive importer and distributor of Gill-brand foul weather gear in North America including Caribbean, US and Canada. Gill is a worldwide apparel and accessories brand serving the marine industry with over three decades of experience. Gill specializes in high tech, breathable waterproof clothing. The company develops and markets a variety of performance-oriented, award-winning apparel and accessories for virtually every type of boating activity with product lines that include foul weather gear; interactive layering systems; footwear; gloves; bags; junior gear; scholastic gear and team wear. Gill products are available through hundreds of independent dealers and select West Marine Stores. For further information, please contact: Gary Barker at 941-505-2111 or

About New England Ropes
New England Ropes branded products are designed and engineered to innovate.  Comprised of the finest first-class fibers, constructed through the use of world-class manufacturing processes, and tested in the harshest conditions, New England Ropes products continue to be trusted to perform by the everyday cruiser to the competitive racer alike. New England Ropes are produced in Fall River, Massachusetts by the TEUFELBERGER Fiber Rope Corporation: a dynamic group of companies comprised of three strategic business divisions:  Fiber Ropes, Wire Ropes, and Plastic Strapping.  TEUFELBERGER has more than 220 years of rope making experience and global manufacturing and distribution.