Regatta Fleet position statement 2014


IODAI Regatta Fleet Position Statement.

 IODAI welcomes children from 8-15yrs to the regatta fleet who are relatively new to sailing and new to racing. Generally children in the regatta fleet are between 8-11yrs. This fleet is designed to give your child coaching and confidence in a fun atmosphere at an IODAI event with an emphasis on training & development.  It is NOT a racing fleet but a fleet where children can improve their basic optimist skills without the pressures of a competitive environment. Most sailors will move from Regatta fleet to main fleet after 1-2 seasons.


  1. To enable your child to experience coaching with an IODAI Optimist specific coach.

  2. To teach children who can sail, the additional skills & drills they need to eventually sail in the main fleet.

  3. To give sailors an experience of sailing at a regional event.

  4. To give sailors an experience of sailing outside home waters in a non competitive environment before joining the main fleet.

  5. To give an introduction to racing.

    What to expect in the 2014 Season:

    At the 4 regional championships, Nationals, Crosbie Cup & End of seasons, regatta fleet children will train on & off the water in the mornings with coaches.  In the afternoon, weather dependant, the regatta fleet will have some short racing supported by the coaches.


    To encourage sailors who wish to participate in more serious racing, children are recommended to develop their racing skills at local regattas and through their club racing or by joining the main fleet.


    Where possible a head & deputy Optimist specific coach will coordinate the coaching of this fleet aided by the required number of club coaches.  In this way local club coaches can benefit from working alongside experienced coaches. Coaching will be skills based including some of the following: Body Position/ How to hold the tiller / Follow the leader / Mark Rounding / Tacking / Gybing / Double Tacks / Bias / Starting line / Hiking / rigging / depowering the sail/ bailing while sailing / 360 turn / sailing backwards.


    Merit badges / medals will be awarded to regatta fleet participants.  In addition token prizes will be awarded to best U 11 / U 10 / U 9, youngest sailor & best local sailor. Fun prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the head instructor. A sailor can only win one of the above category prizes twice in the season then it will pass to the next applicable sailor. 


    The success of the regatta fleet relies on a low coach: sailor ratio 1:6 where possible, but ideally no greater than 1:8.  In the interest of achieving these ratios parents will need to enter events as early as possible.  Late entries cannot be accepted for the regatta fleet.

     Daily Briefing:

    There will be a short daily briefing each morning for the regatta fleet outlining what the days plans are based on the expected forecast. This will usually be after the main fleet briefing or sometimes held after the main fleet launch.

     Guidelines for parents:

  • Children MUST be able to sail a triangle course competently in light to medium airs and possibly be sailing in club races before joining the regatta fleet. The head coach may at his discretion request a regatta fleet sailor to remain ashore if he suspects that the child has little or no sailing experience.  Obviously this step will want to be avoided at all costs so parents should not enter their children into Regatta fleet without the necessary skills.

     Regatta fleet is a coaching facility but not a Teach Your Child to sail facility.  Children should have already completed “learn to sail” courses before joining this fleet or be clearly able to sail a triangle as above.

  • Sailors in this fleet will nearly always come ashore for lunch.

     If racing does go ahead in the afternoon, only those coaches associated with the Regatta fleet are allowed coach the fleet during the race. Parents and support boats must stay outside the race course at all times similarly to the main fleet parents. The head coach may ask for parental  help with extra recue support or some coaching for those sailors at the back who may be having difficulty getting around the course.

  • During adverse weather conditions the regatta fleet may be cancelled. Alternatively the Regatta Fleet may be split into groups at the sole discretion of the Head Coach to enable more competent sailors to sail in more difficult conditions while less able sailors stay ashore.

  • Parents or a nominated adult must be available at all times at the club for regatta fleet sailors who come ashore, children ashore are the parent’s responsibility not the coaches.

  • Where possible, regatta fleet sailors may be taken out to watch the main fleet sailing if conditions do not allow them to sail.

  • Regatta fleet sailors do not require a measurement certificate for their optimist but will need one as they move up to the main fleet.

  • Regatta fleet sailors must pass the safety check before being allowed afloat.  Please familiarise yourself with the equipment they need. Items commonly missing are 2 bailers tied in, paddle tied in, whistle attached to life jacket, mast lock.

  • Regatta fleet sailors are strongly recommended to purchase a proper mast lock to secure the mast rather than relying on rope to tie it in.

  • Please note that regatta fleet sailors do not get a ranking.  This has implications if they wish to be considered for the trials, for squads.


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