Aug. 11, 2003 – The first-ever KATS Sailing Festival is set for Aug. 29 through Sept. 1 in Coral Bay, St. John.
The event combines two Kids And The Sea events of years past — the team racing held in March and the multiclass competition usually held on Labor Day weekend.
Robin Clair Pitts, who helps run the KATS program, said that holding two events was just too much work for the dozens of volunteers who made them happen. "It was maxing everybody out," she said.
Plans call for the combined festival to become an annual event now.
The races will be held in Johnson's Bay, located along Route 107. Registration, dinners and awards ceremonies will be held at Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant in Coral Bay.
Registration and a reception will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Skinny Legs.
Team racing will be held on Aug. 30 and 31, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the awards ceremony at 5 p.m. Aug. 31.
Multiclass racing is scheduled for Sept. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the awards ceremony set for 5 p.m.
Clair Pitts explained that in team racing, teams of three boats vie each against other teams with the same kind of boat. In multiclass racing, racers compete in fleets. "They're scored differently," she said.
The boats that are raced include Lasers, Optimists and other small designs. The sailors range in age from 8 years to adults. The festival events offer "something for everybody," Clair Pitts said, adding that she expects 50 to 60 participants from St. John, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Tortola and possibly Antigua.
Because the festival is an event that trains sailors to compete in larger regattas, the prizes are entry fees to those events. Winners also get their names engraved on a perpetual trophy.
For more information about the KATS Sailing Festival, contact Clair Pitts by calling 779-4994 or e-mailing to KATS St. John.

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