US SAILING has announced its schedule for the 2008 USA Junior Olympic Sailing (JO) Festival programme, a nationwide series of regattas designed to promote the enjoyment of sailing and development of skills to young sailors as well as to provide an Olympic pathway for talented junior sailors.
Approximately 4,000 young sailors are expected to participate in 21 JO events held in 15 states between June and December. The list of one-design classes used in the programme includes Optimists, Lasers, Bytes, Sunfish, El Toros, Club 420s, CFJs, and 29ers, as well as several windsurfing classes.
Encouraging young sailors onto the starting line for a lifelong involvement in the sport of sailing is the objective of the JO programme. Since the inception of the programme in 1997, more than 35,000 emerging sailors between the ages of 8-21 have benefited from participation in over 200 events hosted by numerous clubs and organizations throughout the continental USA and Hawaii. Each event is unique in that it offers various levels of competition, skill building and fun activities, however, all share the common goals of drawing young sailors to the sport and promoting the development of skills. Over the past twelve years, hundreds of aspiring sailors have been motivated to pursue their Olympic dreams as a result of competing in US SAILING's Junior Olympic Sailing Festival.
The "Orange Bowl," a mainstay on the JO schedule and held annually in Miami, is historically the largest JO event and typically hosts over 600 junior sailors from across the U.S. and internationally in its competition in the midst of the December holiday season.
Demonstrating their support for the development of youth sailing, the 2008 JO programme is sponsored by West Marine, Gill, and Active.com.
Click here to view the 2008 JO schedule