Every year IODAI send several teams to different international events. The goal of sending sailors to these events is threefold:

  • to enhance their sailing skills and gain experience & competence in competing in international events 
  • to develop their independence and resilience in a safe, controlled environment
  • to build lasting friendships with their fellow teammates and competitors which hopefully will help them stay involved in the sport for life

The actual events selected are subject to change but typically include:

  • One team of 5 sailors going to the World Championships
  • One team of 7 sailors going to the European Championships (max 4 of one gender)
  • Two international development teams (IDT) going to appropriate events in neighbouring countries (nb, will reduce to one team in 2020)
  • One team of Under 12 sailors going to the British Nationals (nb, will be capped at 12 sailors from 2020)

Qualification criteria apply. Worlds, Euro and IDT team places are determined from sailors’ finishing positions at IODAI’s National Trials. Team & squad news will be posted below.

Ireland can also get invited to compete in the European Team Racing Championships in Lake Ledro in Italy. This invite is dependent on the performance of the Irish team at the previous year’s European [fleet racing] Championships. The team will be selected on a merit basis, usually from the results of the Vice President’s Cup.

The cost of participating in these teams is borne by the sailor.

In addition to the above, Irish Sailing has previously run a National Performance Optimist Squad. The purpose of the Squad was to develop high potential sailors through exposure to top coaching and international competition. Whilst their own funding for this has proven to be fickle it and has resulted in the programme being withdrawn, it is hoped that a replacement programme will be developed in association with external sponsors. It is expected that eligible Members take part in such training programmes in addition to any privately run programmes that they may be part of.


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Annual Membership


Annual Membership for 2023 is now open at €70 per sailor.  Click account page to join or renew.