USODA 2012 Midwest Championship

EYSF helps fund the 2012 USODA Midwest Championships

CLEVELAND, Ohio, July 22-29, 2012 Edgewater Yacht Club hosted the 2012 United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) Midwest Championship regatta. The event included approximately 70 of young sailors from all over the Midwest and North America.

Junior sailing has always been an important part of the mission of Edgewater Yacht Club, said EWYC Commodore Jay Hawkins. Our Juniors always perform really well in the Interlake Yachting Association (I-YLA) and many of our sailors travel to major regattas all over the place but this will be the first time in the 98-year history of our club that we host a dedicated Opti event with national exposure. This is really exciting for us.” Hawkins continued.

“We are used to hosting large sailing events like Cleveland Race Week and our race management committee is dedicated to making this a safe, fun regatta that these young sailors and their families will remember forever. Said Mike Vining, the Event Chairman. “Our membership welcome Opti sailors from all over the Midwest and because the Nationals is held in Sandusky the following week, we expect many sailors from all over the country will take the opportunity to come here first to get some practice on Lake Erie.” Vining continued.

The Optimist dinghy is a small, sprit-rigged sailboat designed to be sailed singlehandedly by children. Competitors at Opti regattas are divided into different fleets, allowing participation of sailors as young as 7 or 8 at the same events as competitors as old as 15. The Opti Midwest Championship will feature a two-day Fleet Racing event and a one-day Green Fleet clinic on July 13. In addition, the Midwest Championship is 2013 Team Trials qualifier event.

The Opti Class could not ask for a better place to host this years Midwest, stated Emma Kovacs , Executive Director of the USODA. We selected EWYC for the regatta because of their demonstrated history of successfully hosting major regattas, their great volunteer base and broad base of support by the local community. Plus the venue offers freshwater sailing that is ideal for both high level competitors and the beginner in the Green fleet.  Ms. Kovacs continued.

“Cleveland is a great waterfront city and for us that sail here competitively it’s a great time with very strong racing during the summer without having to deal with salt in your face.” Said Kent Kristensen, a parent of two opti-sailors participating in the upcoming regatta, representing Edgewater Yacht Club. The club’s Junior Race Team boasts eight advanced Opti sailors that travel to events nationwide and internationally. “It’s a major commitment for parents but it becomes a family thing to travel with your kids, their coaches and the boats and all the other gear you need for the regatta but there are plenty of things for everyone to do in the city if you are not out on the water” Kristensen continued.

The Greater Cleveland areas many attractions include waterfront destinations such as: the Rock Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center, the William G Mather Steamship Museum, USS Cod Submarine, Shooter’s on the Water and Great Lakes Brewing Company in Ohio City. In addition, Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie waterfront tours are available on Goodtime III a local cruise liner.

For more information regarding Cleveland, Ohio and its accommodations and attractions, visit and for more information regarding other sporting events in Cleveland please follow

Our club is honored to have been chosen by the USODA to host this years event, concluded Commodore Hawkins. Many of the worlds greatest sailors started honing their racing skills in the Optimist Dinghy, and its exciting to think that some of the future greats might be on Lake Erie July.