Newsletter Feb 2021 and pre-registration.

Dear Member

We would like to keep you informed of what is happening in IODAI and the summer events for 2021.  

Whilst the Covid restrictions continue to provide uncertainty to what our summer would look like for our sport we do have to continue to act like there will be a future for our events this year.

Optimist sailing has shown over the last year to be a significant benefit to the physical and mental wellbeing of our sailors, getting them out on the water, enjoying the sport and meeting friends in a manner that is consistent with the social distancing requirements.  

IODAI events provide competition and reward the skill progress of our sailors at all levels, however more importantly they are a meeting place for the friendships that last a lifetime in the sport.  IODAI have committed to ensuring its events are inclusive and maximise participation where possible.  Whilst this concept is affected by the restrictions, we can run a greater number of events targeted at all different levels in the fleet.  

With the lack of sailing / racing we have seen a “Covid Gap” appear in the fleet.  Our older and experienced sailors are aging out or moving to other classes, our Regatta fleet didn’t get much exposure to fleet sailing in 2020 and now early 2021, and we have a large Silver Fleet resulting, therefore we have to work to rebuild the skills throughout the fleet going forward.

To date we have made the following decisions.

  • The New Commitee have accepted their roles and responsibilities for the coming year.  link to page here.
  • Our treasurer Conor Turvey will be seeking an assistant Treasurer to join the commitee. 
  • Themes for the 2021 season have been signed off, (link to document here), and include a Bronze fleet to be established,  to lift Regatta fleet into the Main Fleet and allow regatta fleet to focus on targeting entry level sailors.
  • Whilst Baltimore 2021 has be cancelled due to the restrictions,  A “Spirit of Baltimore” event will run instead in the summer, targeted at the Silver and Bronze sailors and include the Crosbie Cup as a regatta.  A subcommittee led by Sean O’Regan, John Scott and Mandy Kelly are working on this with an external provider.
  • Our events officer Tom Mappleback has agreed a calendar of summer events with the clubs around the county, Subject to conditions allowing, which is published on our website.  Tom and the IODAI team will be working with the clubs over the next few months to establish a working protocol for the events taking on board our learnings from 2020.
  • Whilst the Irish Sailing Youth Nationals have been moved from April to October 2021, IODAI intend to run a Trials event in early Summer 2021 in the Royal St George, Dun Laoghaire.  We are very grateful for the Clubs Support. Qualification criteria will be issued closer to the event.
  • Francis Van Steenberge, Teams Officer, has  provisionally entered a team in both the Worlds and European IODA events and has sought the commitment of a coach for the Worlds team, based on the 2020 IODAI coaching selection commitee. 
  • In March we will open a Club Coaching programme directed at the clubs, where IODAI will send Experienced Coaches to the clubs with a programme, to help build the skills in the local fleets, and hopefully some of our seniors sailors will join the weekend clinics to help pass on their expertise.  

To this end we have opened a pre registration event, (link to page here), which will capture the sailors data, who intend to join IODAI events this year.  This will assist our team in looking at the numbers of likely entrants in each fleet and to assist in managing numbers.  Qualification criteria will be set around the information we receive.  

Pre-registration will require membership to be paid, which is also needed to run our programmes this year.  Sailors will be able to apply to enter events later, where they have not pre-registered, but subject to qualification conditions that will apply to each individual event.

Wishing all our membership well and hopefully we will be back on the water soon.

Alex Walsh 

IODAI President


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Annual Membership for 2021 is now open at €60 per sailor.  Click account page to join or renew.

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