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 Whilst their own funding for this has proven to be fickle it and has resulted in the programme being withdrawn, it is hoped that a replacement programme will be developed in association with external sponsors.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.

  • Invite for Irish team to attend UAE regatta

    IODAI has received an invite for a team of five sailors to attend the Abu Dhabi Open Regatta (14th to 19th October). The event consists of three days of a training clinic and a two day regatta. The organisers will cover the costs of accommodation (half board), event entry, Oppie charter, rib charter and fuel.

  • Under 12 Squad travel to 2019 British Nationals in Weymouth

    IODAI’s Under 12 Squad travelled to Weymouth for the British Optimist Nationals. This year’s squad comprised of eleven sailors, Seth Walker, Ellen Bruen, Ava Ennis, Ciara McMahon, Caoilinn McDonnell, Riona McMorrow Moriarty, Glenda Gallagher, Oisin Kelly, William Walsh, Des Turvey and Cillian Twomey. They joined a fleet of 118 other sailors in the Junior Fleet.

  • IODAI’s Worlds Team out to conquer the Caribbean

    Best of luck to our Worlds Team who have travelled to Antigua to take part in the Optimist World Championships. Luke Turvey, Sam Ledoux, Rocco Wright, Ben O’Shaughnessy and James Dwyer Matthews will spend six days racing in the Championship and will also compete in the Optimist World Team Racing Championship for another two days.

  • IDT 1 head to Nieuwpoort

    After a couple of days training in Belgium, IODAI’s International Development Team 1 will start racing tomorrow at the International Youth Regatta in Nieuwpoort. Racing will be held over five days and the forecast conditions look great. Best of luck to Peter, Jamie, Lauren, Russell, Sorcha, Anna, Grace and Killian and coach Adam.

  • Euro Team closes in on finish

    Best of luck to our Euro Team who have their final day’s racing today. Justin, Fiachra, Archie, Johnny, Jessica, Alana and Clementine have sailed superbly all week and have done us all proud

  • Best of luck to IDT 2 Team France!

    The IODAI International Development Team (IDT 2) headed from Dublin by ferry to Crozon in France earlier this week. They were heading to compete in a Pre-Europeans Test Event in the home of the 2019 Optimist Europeans venue. On the development team is: William Walsh TBSC/MYC Evan Darby HYC Hugo Crawford HYC/NYC Emmet Lucas RCYC

  • Vice President’s Cup team racing event, HYC 14th June

    Howth Yacht Club will be holding their Vice President’s Cup team racing event on the 14th June (the day before the Leinster’s). The event is currently the only team racing event in the Irish Optimist calendar and is always well supported by clubs and teams from across the country. Team racing is an excellent way

  • 2019 Teams & Squads Update (updated 27.4.19 – IDT gender requirements)

    NB – a correction has been made to the gender mix requirements for IDT#1 and IDT#2. It was previously stated that the maximum for a single gender was four. This was incorrect. The ratio will be the same as previous years, ie a maximum of five sailors of a single gender. The error has been

  • Measurement at Trials

    With Trials now only a couple of weeks away, it is important that all sailors ensure that they have evidence that their equipment is fully compliant with class rules. At registration competitors will be required to produce the following: Boat registration certificate (in the name of the sailor or the sailor’s family) Boat and third

  • Team Ireland Optimist Coach Opportunities for 2019

    The International Optimist Dinghy Association of Ireland (IODAI) are seeking expressions of interest from coaches who would be interested in coaching the Irish Optimist Teams at the following International Events in 2019: Under 12 squad – UK Nationals International Development Team (IDT) #1 – likely to be in Flanders (Nieuport Week) International Development Team (IDT)

  • Irish Sailors dominate in the 2018 Optimist French Nationals

    Fiachra McDonnell of NYC and the Irish IDT France Team won the Optimist French Nationals after a fantastic week of sailing against some of the best sailors in Europe in the 200 sailor event.  Fellow NYC and IDT Team France sailor Clementine van Steenberge won best girl at the event, at only 11 years of

  • Team Ireland arrive in the Hague

    Team Ireland (Johnny, Leah, Eimer, Rocco, Sam, Emily and Nathan) and coach Thomas Chaix have arrived in The Hague for the 2018 Optimist European Championship’s. They started their final preparations for the 2018 Europeans with on the water training on Tuesday and Wednesday. Today (Thursday) is off the water due to high North Westerly winds


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Annual Membership for 2020 will be open from November 27th 2019. This is when registration for Baltimore will also open.

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