Ideas from the Opti’s
These excerpts from USODA (US Optimist Dinghy Association) may suggest some useful ways event organizers can incorporate new sailors in their regatta. Note to RCs and Event Chairs: Great info of all sorts for running youth regattas, including downloadable forms and lots of event ideas, can be found on the Opti web site: www.usoda.org.
How Green Fleet Works
Green fleet is a special fleet for novices. The purpose is:
- To encourage novices to attend their first Opti regatta, and
- To encourage their continued participation in Opti racing.
- To build the fleet from the bottom up.
- More trophies are awarded in green fleet than in similar size red, blue and white (age group) fleets.
- Green fleet participation is limited to appropriate skippers. (Sailing instructions explain this.)
- If green fleet coaching while racing is to be permitted, the sailing instructions should clearly address this issue.
- A fresh idea – use the green fleet concept in other fleets.
See USODA's web site for green fleet policy.
Opti Starts, Courses
Starts: Red, blue and white fleets start together. Green fleet gets a separate start, preferably on a different course.
Courses: An Olympic triangle is preferred, for up to 125 boats. Above 125 boats, the trapezoid is preferred, using four randomly assigned divisions (or six, if it's a very large fleet, like the 313 boats at the 2001 Nationals). This yields two (or three) starts per race.
The Optimist Class has software which makes this all fairly easy (see below). The trapezoid configuration is windward, reach, run, beat to finish.
Overall scoring is the official USODA policy (as opposed to fleet scoring). Here's how overall scoring can work for you:
Overall scoring determines places within the red, blue and white (age group) fleets simply by looking at the overall results. All age groups start together at Optimist regattas. To determine 1st through 5th place in blue fleet using overall scoring, you simply run down the overall list of finishers and look for the first blue fleeter, the second blue fleeter, etc. This gives you the order of finishes in blue fleet. Awards are made using this list.