More than 160 teen sailors from across the United States, North America and the Caribbean will gather Saturday and Sunday at the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County for the 15th annual Junior Olympic Sailing Festival.
Sailors will compete on the waters of the Indian River Lagoon in nine divisions across four sailing craft classes — Club 420, Open Bic, Optimist and windsurfers.
The event is expected to give a kick start to local hotels and restaurants in this holiday season.
“At this age level, almost all the sailors except one class will be under the age of 15, so sailing is very much a family-involved sport,” said Jim St. John, a U.S. Sailing Center volunteer, who estimated that as many as 500 visitors could be in the area for the event. “These sailors, some as young as 6 and 7, will have their moms and dads and brothers and sisters with them.”
There will be 12 sailors from the Treasure Coast competing.
The U.S. Sailing Center will have a busy season of events this winter and spring. Among the highlights will be the state championships in the spring that this year will also include tryouts for the U.S. National Sailing Team.
JUNIOR OLYMPIC SAILING FESTIVAL
Where: U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County, Indian RiverSide Park, 1955 S.E. Indian River Dr., Jensen Beach
What: More than 160 teen sailors competing in seven divisions
Craft: Club 420, Open Bic, Optimist, Windsurfers