IODAI’s principal objectives are:

  • To govern and promote the sailing and racing of Optimist dinghies in Ireland 
  • To organise safe sailing events that both challenge and excite young sailors
  • To encourage, assist and enable sailors to progress to whatever competitive level they aspire to
  • To organise both training & racing events that are accessible to sailors of modest means
  • To nurture a spirit of fun, competition, learning/achievement, integrity and friendship among our sailors
  • To ensure the objectives and actions of the class are aligned with the goals of the wider Irish sailing community

The ultimate measure of the Association’s success is how many of our sailors remain in the sport over their lifetime. ‘Oppie’ sailing is a part of a longer journey – no part of it, regardless of titles won or fame achieved, is the destination.


The Association has been incorporated as a company limited by guarantee. The three primary bodies of people overseeing its operations are the Members, the Board/Advisory Council and the Executive Committee. Ultimately, the Board/Advisory Council and Executive Committee are both answerable to the Members. Each sailor/member, through their parents, is entitled to attend AGMs and vote on company matters.

Three principal documents govern what the association does and how it is run. These are, the Constitution, the Risk Register and the Administration Handbook, all of which will be on the website.

The Constitution

The Constitution is the formal document that sets out the rules governing the company/Association. It is here that the principal objectives are set out. The document also outlines the rights and obligations of the Members, Directors and Executive Committee and defines the relationship between them. The Constitution is rarely amended and can only be done so by Members at an Annual General Meetings or an Extraordinary General Meeting. 

The Risk Register

The Risk Register documents the assessment of risks that the Association is exposed to and outlines the steps that have been taken to manage/mitigate those risks. The exercise will be carried out by the Executive Committee and will be updated as required. A full review of it must be carried out at least every two years. The Board must review and approve it. The Risk Register will help in formulating key policies.

The Administration Handbook

The Administration Handbook will set out the Association’s key processes and procedures. No part of it can override the requirements or intentions of the Constitution. The document will be maintained by the Executive Committee and will be updated as decisions are made by the them.

All three documents must be available to Members and should be published on the Association’s website.

Board of Directors / Advisory Council

The Association must have three directors, at least two of which must not have any children involved in the class. These two directors must have children who, having previously sailed in the class, are now actively sailing in other classes. At least two of the Directors should have had prior experience of participating on IODAI’s executive committee. Apart from the duties imposed on the directors under relevant legislation and company law, the directors have specific duties to the association to:

  1. Helps set the objectives of the Association in the Constitution and ensures they remain in the permanent focus of both the Executive Committee and Members 
  2. Act as an ‘Advisory Council’ to the Executive Committee to:
    • help ensure continuity of objectives, knowledge and processes & procedures
    • assist with making decisions when executive committee members have conflicts of interests eg, as a result of their children’s involvement in the class, conflicting commercial interests etc
  3. Oversee the activities of the Executive Committee to ensure
    • key risks specific to the association are identified and managed
    • sound financial control is maintained 
    • key policies and procedures are in place and up-to date
    • adequate resources are in place to run the operations
  4. Seek opportunities to integrate with other fleets to assist with sailors transitioning out of the class

The Directors through their wider experience of junior sailing are most likely better placed to see the ‘big picture’ and may, through their exposure of other fleets, be able provide useful contacts with other class associations.

At least one of the Directors must have prior experience of acting as a finance, risk or compliance director of a significant commercial enterprise.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee forms the operational backbone of the class. Its primary task is to deliver the annual schedule of activities to members. These activities listed below:

Core annual tasks

  1. Events: The organisation and delivery of:
    • an annual training week (Baltimore) – Regatta, Junior & Senior Fleets
    • the National Optimist Trials – Junior & Senior Fleets
    • four Regional Regattas – Junior & Senior Fleets
    • the National Championships
    • the Crosbie Cup Regatta – Junior & Senior Silver Fleets
  2. Teams: The organisation and delivery of member’s participation in the:
    • Worlds
    • Europeans
    • International Development Team #1 (IDT1)
    • International Development Team #2 (IDT2) (2019 only)
  3. Rankings: The maintenance of:
    • Junior & Senior rankings
    • Silver & Gold distinctions for Junior and Silver Fleets

Administration Tasks

To effectively deliver the core annual activity schedule as listed above, the following support tasks/activities must be carried out:

  • Ensuring critical Executive Committee roles are filled (see below)
  • Identification and management of key risks & ensuring child safety
  • Maintenance of financial control and accounting/banking systems
  • Compliance with all relevant legislative requirements & deadlines
  • Maintenance of website and membership/event entry system
  • Maintenance of key policies and procedures
  • Meet as a committee at least four times a year


The following are the core roles required on the Executive Committee. A more detailed list of the specifications of the roles can be found at XXXXX.

  • Committee Chairman (mandatory position)
  • Treasurer (mandatory position)
  • Honorary Secretary (mandatory position)
  • Child Safety Officer (mandatory position)
  • Events Manager (mandatory position)
  • Baltimore Organiser (mandatory position)
  • Teams Organiser (mandatory position)
  • Web Operations (mandatory position)
  • Results & Rankings Officer (attendee)
  • Regatta Fleet Coordinator (attendee)

The Committee must recognise the limitations of volunteer resources. Care should be taken not to over commit the team by adding additional events, training events etc to the annual schedule of activity.

Support Roles

The Executive Committee may from time to time appoint people to non committee support roles. These roles are non decision making roles but assist with the orderly administration of the association’s operations. Examples of such roles include:

  • Communications & Marketing Officer (to post marketing and communications material)
  • Assistant Treasurer (to assist transaction processing, annual accounts etc)
  • Coaching Advisor (to assist with coaching strategy)
  • Irish Sailing Liaison (to integrate Irish Sailing with IODAI)
  • Teams Assistant (to help organise team clothing, flights, accommodation etc)
  • Baltimore Assistant (to assist with the organisation of Baltimore)
  • Equipment Manager (custodian of IODAI’s miscellaneous assets)
  • Webmaster (technical support on website and event/membership platform)
  • Class Captain/Club Liaison (to connect with clubs programmes around the country)

Our Sponsors


Annual Membership


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

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