Make Your Regatta More Kid-Friendly
Successful youth regattas are different. These hints will make your event more youth-oriented without sacrificing quality:
- Set courses close to shore, for better viewing and safety.
- Make races shorter, and run more of them.
- Minimize wait time between races.
- Put yellow flags on all patrol/coach boats for quick identification.
- (Coast Guard Auxiliary loved this!)
- Instructors/coaches can strengthen your safety patrol: US SAILING certified coaches/instructors are specially trained and NASBLA certified (as well as ARC First Aid & CPR); they can be a real asset to your safety force. We recommend that you:
- Include them in your safety patrol (and any on-the-water personnel meetings)
- Introduce them at the competitors’ meeting
- Involve them in clinics and daily debriefs
Race officials should educate sailors at every opportunity (competitors' meetings, protest hearings, etc.). Be sure not to intimidate!
- We recommend at least one certified or recognized race officer and one certified judge.
- Invite kid-friendly judges who like working with children encourage them to be approachable.
- Build an Olympic-style podium for the awards ceremony. (You can include 4th and 5th by placing them next to 3-tier podium – see photo in “Awards.”)
- Games are a great way to fill the gap between the last race and awards – Check the "Fun & Learning" section.
For Opti Green Fleet and other younger sailors, use an inflatable dolphin for the windward mark, shark for the jibe mark, whale for the leeward mark. (You can spray their fins with Day-Glo paint for high visibility.)
Another Bright Idea
The 420 fleet grew to unmanageable size, so Annisquam YC created a 420 Green Fleet. This was voluntary, for kids with limited experience; coaching was allowed during races.
Send your best new idea to LeeParks@ussailing.org!