After mastering the basics of sailing your Optimist, why not join the excitement of our friendly racing events? With a diverse mix of ages and skill levels in the Optimist fleet, we've got options for everyone to enjoy and forge new friendships. Our Championship weekends feature three fleets—Main, Intermediate, and Regatta. Meanwhile, the Nationals boast four fleets, including Junior Main, Senior Main, Regatta Racing, and Coached Regatta. There's a spot for everyone to have a blast on the water

Which fleet is right for me?

From the 2023 Early Summers, sailors competing in IOCA(UK) Championship weekends are offered the choice of competing in three fleets: Main, Intermediate and Regatta. To help sailors choose which is the most suitable fleet for them we have prepared the following guidance.

Main Fleet

The Main Fleet will generally be scheduled to spend longer on the water than other fleets, with up to 4 races per day and a target time for the winning boat of 45 minutes. Sailors should expect to be on the water for around 5 hours. In addition, races may run in challenging conditions - the guidance for PROs includes a maximum average wind speed for racing of 25 knots. By entering the Main Fleet a sailor is accepting a challenge to test their skills not only against the best sailors at the event but also the conditions, which may be variable and physically demanding. 

Intermediate Fleet

The Intermediate Fleet is intended to provide a full race experience for developing sailors without the physical demands of Main Fleet. This fleet will generally be scheduled to sail up to 3 races on any day, with a target time of 40 minutes for the winning boat and a maximum average wind threshold of approximately 20 knots. Sailors should expect to be on the water for around 4 hours.The Rolling Ranking will continue on after the Main fleet into the Inter Fleet, with the sailor placed first in Inter Fleet receiving a ranking score +1 after the last placed sailor in Main Fleet.

Who should think about entering the Intermediate Fleet?

  1. Developing sailors (of any age) who have raced in Main Fleet before and have consistently finished in the back 25%.
  2. Perhaps consider the best Optimist sailors at your Club and think about whether you are able to finish within 10 minutes of them in all wind conditions, in particular very light (<6 kts) or heavy (>18 kts), if not then maybe Intermediate Fleet would give a better experience. 
  3. Emerging sailors who have sailed in the Regatta Fleet at other regattas and are ready to move up.
  4. Younger sailors who may be more experienced but find the long days in the Main Fleet too demanding. 

Regatta Fleet

Regatta Fleet is where our junior sailors start their big-regatta experience. The Regatta Fleet is intended for less experienced sailors, generally in their first year of travelling to events. All children start sailing at different ages and progress at different levels so there are no age limits. The aim is to provide lots of short races, with up to six races a day and a target time of 20 minutes for the winning boat. Sailors will usually come in for lunch and more support will be provided. The total time on the water will be around 3-4 hours per day and the maximum average wind threshold of approximately 15 knots. The Regatta Fleet is not included in the Rolling Ranking. 

Please note that all sailors should be capable of completing a triangular course in a moderate breeze and of capsize recovery without assistance.

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