Miami sailor brings home mystery trophy with Optimist win
The stately silver cup is engraved with “Miami Herald USA-Denmark Pram Challenge Perpetual Trophy.” It has made multiple trips around the world since it was created to honor young racers of the Optimist dinghy — the sailboat also known as the Pram — 50 years ago. The trophy’s last visit to the United States was in Miami in 1979 when a 14-year-old local named Shawn Lobree anchored the team that brought it back from Thailand.
Now, for the first time in 37 years, it’s back — decorating the living room table of the Shestopalov family in Miami after son Ivan, 15, and his four teammates won it for the best final points aggregate in last October’s Optimist World Championship in Argentina.
Worlds 2014 was my last chance to get it right. It was my eight and final year in optis, and I was determined to go for gold. No American had won worlds since 1961, and my third attempt would be my last.
Rio de la Plata proved to be difficult. Despite a fairly bad start to the regatta, I inched up the standings, keeping more or less consistent in an unstable fleet. With a third place finish in the last race, I moved to eight overall – a place behind my best result in the Dominican Republic in 2012.
Team USA did win the nations cup, though – beating out team Netherlands by a few points, we took home the Miami Herald Trophy.
Reflecting on the regatta, I did not do as well as I could have done. I made plenty mistakes, and got my act together too late. The last race I felt I was sailing at 100% – I wish I could say the same for the others. I ended up with a decent result, but I didn’t perform at my best.
This is the end of my Opti career, but I keep sailing. I have moved on to 420’s, and other boats I might not know about yet – I have decades ahead of me. My seven years in Optis were great years – I traveled the world, made lots of friends, and ended them with memories that I will keep forever. I thank everyone that has supported me through my journey, and although it might not have ended as I would have liked, it was an amazing one.
2014 North Americans
North Americans 2014 was held in Mexico for the second time in three years, albeit not on a lake this time. This was only my second North Americans, and I was shooting for Western Hemisphere Champion after winning Uruguay South Americans. I was fourth and third for the first few days of the regatta, and everything came down to the last race – an unexpected shift found me and the top three on the wrong side of the racecourse, forcing a drop but bringing me up to second place, behind Jodie Lai of Singapore. I was North American champion, however, in the closed championship. Team USA had a great event in general – 3/4 of the team made it into gold fleet for the last race, and USA swept the Team Racing podium, as well as the North American podium.
Ivan Shestopalov tops U.S. Optimist Team Trials – Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Published on May 4, 2014
Two hundred twelve sailors competed in the 2014 KO Sailing/USODA Team Trials regatta held at Stamford Yacht Club, May 1-4, 2014. The event is used as the U.S. qualifier for continental and world championship events. Winning the prestigious USA Opti Team Trials trophy for the second time was 14 year old Ivan Shestopalov, representing Coral Reef YC in Miami, FL. This was Ivan’s sixth Team Trials, winning in 2012 and second in 2013.
South Americans 2014
The stakes were higher than ever for the South American Championship in Punta del Este, Uruguay. This year, I wasn’t only coming to compete with the best sailors from the Americas, I was coming to defend my title as South American Champion. Two days into the event, I was sitting in third place behind Facundo Monaco of Argentina, and Joaquin Ceballos of Peru. The wind was confusing and inconsistent, and the results showed; Facundo had a drop of 29th place, and the rest of his finishes were 1sts. The third day had only one race, in which both Facundo and Jouqin did poorly, moving me up to first. Everything came down to the last race of the series – even with a cushion of about eight points separating me and second, knowing the unpredictability of the wind, anything could happen. And something extraordinary did happen – rounding the mark in 23rd, I made a 20 position comeback to finish in the top five and cinch the South American Championship. After four days of racing in some of the weirdest conditions possible, I defended team USA’s three-year winning streak at South Americans. Team USA had an exceptional showing, taking eight of the top 20 spots in Gold fleet, and also taking first in silver fleet.
By Karin Beery
Quantum sailor Ivan Shestopalov is making a name for himself in the world of Optimist sailing. The 13 year-old started racing Optis in 2007, and has continually improved since he began.
Read more here
Orange Bowl 2013
Drawing in over 700 competitors from all corners of the globe, the annual Orange Bowl International Regatta is one of the biggest – and most prestige – youth sailing events in the world. 300 optis were hosted this year by my home club, the Coral Reef Yacht Club, with neighboring clubs hosting 29ers, 420s, lasers, and i420s. International competition would be stiff for the four-day event, but domestic competition proved stiffer, with eight of the top ten spots taken by US sailors.
Winning Orange Bowl had always been a major goal for me in my sailing career, and this year I accomplished just that. In an fantastic wrap of the year, I won Orange bowl with nine firsts out of eleven races, with teammate Ian Moran finishing in second place.
Ivan Shestopalov keeps his eyes on the prize before Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta – Miami Herald
By Corey W. Campbell
Special to the Miami Herald
Since last year’s second-place finish in the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta, local sailor Ivan Shestopalov has gained a lot of experience, including a first-place finish in the West Coast Championship in Los Angeles.
Read more here
Heavy wind practice 11.04.13
2013 West Coast Championship
Held in beautiful Los Angeles, California, the West Coast Opti Championship this year also sported the title of the 2013 US International Spring Teams Qualifier, drawing 180 sailors from all over the country. The competition was as fierce as it was grueling, and everyone wanted a spot on the US Team at the prestigious South American Championship, an event dominated by Americans for the last two years.
After three days of tight racing along the LA Port waterfront, I won the annual championship and qualified to represent Team USA at the 2014 South American Championship in Cartagena, Colombia in April of next year.
Opti Worlds 2013 – Lake Garda, Italy
Held in one of the trickiest sailing venues on the planet, the IODA Optimist Worlds were anything but simple. Changing winds from ten knots to twenty made sure only the most versatile and adaptable sailor would come out victorious. After eight grueling days of racing, I finished 12th overall, out of more than 260 competitors. Although I finished a bit worse than last year, I felt it was a very constructive regatta for me, honing my skills in all aspects of racing, and improving myself tremendously as a sailor.
2nd at Team Trials 2013
Probably best known for its cheese, Pewaukee, Wisconsin, briefly turned into the Opti capitol of the U.S. last week. Despite cold and rainy weather, the possibility of snow, and the ice having melted only a week before, over 190 sailors descended onto the small Wisconsin town for four days of opti madness. Conditions were some of the trickiest anyone had sailed in, with shifty winds and unpredictable puffs, so nothing was certain until the last race. Despite several iffy races, I started the regatta in third place, but nothing was set in stone. In the end though, I managed to hold on, finishing 2nd behind fellow teammate Shawn Harvey, qualifying me for the World Championship in Lake Garda, Italy. Team CRYC had a great showing, with five sailors in the top ten – including Wiley Rogers, Shane Riera, and Sean Brennan. Team Trials was also coach Pilo’s last regatta with CRYC, and Lior Lavine will be taking over as gold fleet coach. Team Trials was a great event, with Team CRYC continuing it’s domination of optis for a second year in a row.
South American Gold
144 of the best sailors from both Americas converged on Porto Alegre, Brazil this March to decide the 2013 South American Champion. With 14 countries in attendance the international competition was stiff, and results were unpredictable throughout the course of the six-day event. The wind on Guabia Lake was also unpredictable, ranging from less than five to over fifteen knots, and often very shifty, making for challenging racing. Mental endurance was another obstacle. With nine days of racing (including three practice days) often ending with the sunset and only one lay day, being mentally ready was a big part of the regatta. Going into team racing I was in second behind local sailor Gabriel Lopes of Brazil. I was on Team USA 2, with Sophia Reineke, JC Hermus, Emma Kaneti, and Henry Burns. Following two hard-fought wins against Team USA 1 in the finals, we emerged as the victors for the day, with all of the US teams placing in the top three in Nations Cup. After the lay day, it was time to refocus and concentrate on fleet racing again. Despite scoring a fifteen the fourth day, Gabriel had a throwout race, propelling me to first position going into the final day of racing. Even with a seven-point lead, one race could change everything, so I was anxious. Light winds delayed the start of the last race, but I had to stay focused and ready while we were waiting for the wind to fill in. The wind finally showed up, and I sailed a solid race to finish in third and secure first place overall. It was a great event, a highlight of my career so far in optis, which could not be achieved without my friends, teammates, coaches, and parents. Thank you to everyone who made this great result a reality. RESULTS
Valentine’s Day Regatta 2013
Valentine’s Day is always a tricky regatta – unpredictable wind, inconsistent weather, and tough competition make it a hard event to master. Last year, I placed 3rd, losing a tiebreaker to Shawn Harvey and Sean Walsh, and was determined not to let that happen again this year. The first day was very shifty, with the current playing a major role in the races. The wind was dying, and the Race Committee only managed two races to start off the regatta. The second day looked more promising wind-wise, but fell short of the four races needed for a drop. Staying consistent in the changing breeze, I managed to grab the overall award, as well as the Jane Funsch perpetual trophy. Wiley Rogers and Eduardo Mintzias placed 3rd and 5th, respectively.
Jobson Junior All-Stars
Honorable Mentions: Ivan Shestopalov
Hobie Sailor of the Month – January, 2013
US Sailing’s 2012 Junior Olympic sailing season culminated with the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta on December 27-30 in Miami, Fla. Ivan Shestopalov, a 12-year-old Opti sailor from Miami, was one of 652 youth sailors competing from all over the world. Ivan was second overall out of 250 Opti sailors, and the top U.S. sailor. More
Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta
After four long days of unpredictable wind and tough international contention, Orange Bowl, one of the largest youth regattas in the world, spanning four yacht clubs and over 600 sailors, drew to a close. The competition was fierce, with the results uncertain until the very end. I finished a worthy second (behind Max Clapp of Great Britain), and CRYC had a very strong showing, with three of the top five spots overall. It was an amazing event, and tested my skills to the maximum in the changing breeze. Overall, it was a great experience, and an awesome way to end the year. Results
2012 Allstate Sugar Bowl Regatta in New Orleans
From blistering northerly winds to warm, unsteady seabreezes, New Orleans is a very tricky place to sail. With ever-changing conditions, this “sportsman’s paradise” can be a sailor’s hell. And yet, every other year, over 200 sailors descend on the Big Easy for a biennial tradition – the Midwinter championship, coupled with the International spring team qualifier. After two days of light-air training with world-class coaches Pilo Rocha, Lucas Calabreze, and Argy Resano, team CRYC was determined to have a strong showing. Despite early setbacks, I managed to work my way up the rankings and was in a dead heat with Romain Screve, the current leader, going into the last race of the third day. I managed to break away at the beginning, but Romain gained ground and finished right behind me, securing his victory by one point. Although it was slightly upsetting going home so close to first place, the regatta was a tremendous test in both mindset and skill, and I felt I took away a lot from New Orleans.
A strong start to 2012
With the start of the new season in September, came a new motivation for victory. With of the successes of last year in the back of my mind, giving me confidence, I set out to start over again, to improve, to reach the goals that I still hadn’t. The opener of the year, Ft. Myers, would prove tricky, as changing conditions, coupled with some very stiff competition, tested my abilities to the max. I kept consistent throughout, and finished just a couple of points behind fellow teammate Wiley Rogers. Next up was team racing at LYC. Together as a team for the first time since 2011, this would prove a serious proving ground for Team CRYC. Along with Sean Brennan, Wiley Rogers, Jack Johanssen, and Shawn Harvey, Team CRYC enjoyed early successes, but were ousted in the finals by Team LYC, The home team and defending champions, to place second. Starting off November, the Naples Cup was the final regatta before Midwinters in New Orleans. I was aiming to once again clinch the overall prize, and although several big shifts provided some serious scares, I prevailed through the unsteady winds, and grabbed the trophy for the second year in a row. Now with Midwinters looming large, these early regattas have provided me with the confidence, ability, and momentum that I hope will guide me to success in New Orleans.
Ivan finishes 7th at World Championship
This July, Team USA traveled to Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, to take part in the 50th Optimist World championship, to compete against 230 of the World’s best young sailors, from more than 50 countries all over the World, and take their chance at the most prestigious title of the sport – World Champion.
The team was comprised of five sailors from all over the country– Ivan Shestopalov, Nic Muller, Will Logue, Wiley Rogers, and Romain Screve. Sailing conditions were very challenging throughout the regatta: they ranged from no wind at all, to powerful squalls and thunderstorms.
Despite these grueling conditions, Ivan performed very well, with all races in the top 15, including a bullet on the last day. With these exceptional results, Ivan claimed Seventh place overall – and top American.
In team racing, the US team placed second, and in the Nations Cup they grabbed Silver. This was the best performance by any American team at the World Championship!
First in blue fleet at Scotiabank Regatta
Only four points separated the top five sailors going into the third and final day of racing at the 20th annual Scotiabank International Optimist Regatta, held out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club, U.S. Virgin Islands, June 22 to 24. After three final races in 12 to 15 knot winds, the scores were very close, and Ivan placed fourth – just two points behind winner and fellow World Team member Will Logue – and snagged the top Blue fleet spot.
US Special Junior Snipe Championship
On Sunday, July 17th, the US Junior National Snipe Championship 2012, held on Biscayne Bay by the Coral Reef Yacht Club, drew to a close after two hard days of close-fought competition in Miami. Twenty-two teams of two (a skipper and a crew) from all across the country competed in one of the most prestigious Snipe events in the US.
Ivan Shestopalov (skipper) and Nick Voss (crew) grabbed ninth overall, and won the Special Junior division – the teams in this group must consist of a junior (21 and under) skipper and a senior crew. The team was also presented with the “Old Man” Diaz perpetual trophy.
Sail1Designer of the Month: Ivan Shestopalov
Sunday April 29th marked the end of the 2012 USODA KO Optimist Team Trials hosted this year by the Brant Beach Yacht Club in Brant Beach, New Jersey.
186 optimist sailors from around the country came to vie for a chance to represent the United States at the IODA World Championships, the IODA Asian Championship, the IODA European Championship, the IODA North American Championship, the Qingdao International Regatta, and the British National Championships throughout the next year.
Volvo Team Race Academy
America’s finest young sailors went head to head in the closest contested Team Racing Academy Regatta in the 2011-12 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday in Miami.
For more information visit the Volvo Ocean Racing Academy
Team Trials 2012
Ivan Shestopalov just won the most prestigious sailing competition in the US – Team Trials, which was held in Brant Beach, NJ at the end of April 2012. Competing among the 200 best sailors from all over the country in very challenging conditions, Ivan earned the top honor to lead Team USA into the IODA World Championships, to be held in the Dominican Republic this July .