Green Scene


Championship fleet: that is a division in scoring and Champions may have to race outside the break wall and for many races.  There is NO Coaching.  There is the expectation that the competitor will finish promptly and not hold up the next start.  There is the expectation that you know the racing rules and protocols.    They race and award in age groups: White-(<11) Blue-(11-12) Red (13+15).  Top awards at the clubs discretion.  There are scores and prizes and parents can go nutz-o in championship with out feeling silly.  This is a Club team against Club team effort.

Green fleet: Green fleet is where your child should learn the rules, time on the water, make friends, and get coached (not from your parent)   and learn how to be out front!  Everyone is Coached all the way around.  All green fleet coaches are supposed to coach all kids equally!  (<< this does not really happen because we cannot shake our sabot legacy)   This is not supposed to be a "club against club arena" but the west coast has not yet risen to this mentality.   There should not be scores posted as the races are not supposed to be fair and there is no protesting anyone saying that can go immediately to Championship fleet.   The coaches are "supposed" to tow kids from the back to the front so each kid has a chance to feel the win!   Fun skills and drills should be taught and on shore team building events are encouraged, circles in the race and backwards sailing and rails standing.  Nurturing and Friendship building before and after sailing to mix the kids up! This should be for both parents and kids.  Clubs are supposed to have a goal for the green clinic like : Stretching, Roll Tacks , Fouling,  Penalty Turns..Starts and kids party! 

CHAMP OR GREEN?  BUT don't you know My kid is a Racing God !

Green is not embarrassing!  Also remember “Green is NOT Opti mean” and do not "dis the green" scene! Some great learning and some of the best coaching happens right there and for free!  So even if the score is not measured the same since they are all winners and are being coached.   A parent needs to see the Green as an amazing networking scene!  Many parents have the wrong impression of green it is the best part of OPTI racing.

GUESS WHAT?  The Greens often get more time on the water than Championship Fleet in better conditions.  

A wise Opti-Owl would suggest that a Championship Qualifying event is not a place for a first time racer or a greenie move up or start.   So hey, Parent,  if you really think your kid is a "champ" and you cannot deal with the embarrassing concept of ‘green’ and your kid knows was a ZFP and TLE means then clearly there is not a ruling against it.    YO Parents. If you do not know what ZFP and TLE, then you should not be pushing your kids into championships, er sit down.

When to move up?

Once a kid is in the front consistently in Green and has sailed in a variety of events and generally her in California have raced in San Francisco bay, with different conditions (like under 5knots and over 20knots and swell and currents), then you have good reason to move-em up!  

=< Opti-Tip is very important for a racer to know what it means to be in FRONT so let them have some time in FRONT before they move up so they get some spirit.

=<   Opti-Tip It is OK to move back to GREEN for an event if an event looks much harder than the last event.  You are not forced to remain in one level and some places and events are just easier than others.  Sail where you can. Do not sail more than you can handle.  Your floundering will ruin it for the kids that can handle it.  You should not move back up in a Championship race you will hurt a qualifying score for USODA.

=<   Opti-Tip WARNING: if is OK if you move back to GREEN even during an event but remember to tell the Race Committee (RC).

=<   Opti-Tip But pleases if you move down during an event… then stay in GREEN for the rest of the event because your points could and probably will hurt the champs kids and you have no chance of winning, if you move back up the next day. DON’T DO It you will make enemies.


 Where to Move Up…Your Coaches all hope your kid does not become a "HAZARD to Navigation" and unsafe if a coach has to tow your child in the other children are not safe. If the kid is it may make a few angry feelings some enemies and that is not what Opti sailing is all about.  A first time championship fleet really should be done at a friendly fun local event where the stakes are not so high for the top kids at a USODA event. Go ahead and use these events where a starting newbie. 
Move up where a foul will not hurt the race of someone who has been working for years and should qualify for a USODA event.  

Championship event: A championship race that means this event should draw top racers to try and qualify for US Team Trials that event is held each year the last weeks of April into the First week of May.  The top 25% of the Championship Race finishers in a "qualifying event" get to go to this event, it is not mandatory  but they can enter and  travel and try out, these kids will get TTQ on USODA and then if they do well at Team Trials then the top number of that fleet will get an invitation to join the US Opti  team. 


So for top kids the stakes are real at a championship event and it means a lot to them to have a quality race and to have a fair race and good experienced racers and racing behavior on the line, with top player to qualify and move to Team Trials.  USODA has plenty of event guidelines that are engaged at a USODA event.

Sad Quote " My kid is good I am putting him in Champion " this same kid stalled on the start line, finished every race late, freaked out infront of the kid who was winning a championship regatta.  The parent did not care about the other kids hopes or dreams only his new kid.had to be in Champs...  The top kids now all hate that new kid for-like-forever.

Too Long in Green Scene

TOO LONG in GREEN?  No such thing.. A Wise Opti-Owl knows that some of the current best US Opti Team sailors REALLY HAVE spent several (as in more than one or two seasons) in GREEN! Again there is NO rule on how long you hang in GREEN...


Wise ole Owl says don't buy  our future Oracle Racer a new hull until your kid is getting up to the top ten in Championships.. the driver is more important than the hull and until then and it will get hit but everyone not reading this document.

Green Scores where are they?

 It is generally accepted and proposed by many but not all Opti Clubs that we should not post GREEN FLEET results – “they are all winners”…. and we say that but…. then there are the parents and kids staring at the results, saying mean things, and kids running the numbers trying to WIN!  That sort of defeats the purpose.  California carries the burden of sabot alphabet soup where every group is scored.  This is not the intention of Opti Green but it can be perverted to be so.  You will know when your child is winning green you do not need scores. 

By not having scores or prizes this encourages the kids to move in to the real racing fleet, Oh use it is not real racing with "coaching" and unfair lines and clinic drills inside the race. So how can these results be very valid?  They are all winners and different kids should be getting a cheating chance to be first.  Green fleets should not support Club on Club coaching and kid on kid comparisons.

Wise ole Opti Owl is here to remind everyone: that the ALL green coaches are “SUPPOSED” to be coaching ALL kids equally  and dragging "end" kids up to win sometimes to stop the heart break we want kids to stick, doing rail races and backwards sailing or rudderless more future racers and friends.  If a kid has a flip out over the race not being fair then manage that, about six 360’s should do.  Clubs are supposed to have a goal for the clinic like : Roll Tacks , Fouling, Penalty Turns..Starts.

SO, please no comparing to other kids, that just hurts – have fun in green.   Coaches sit the tiger parents of the little new Oracle racers down and try to explain this how it is not helping and to just wait til championship.  It is also mean to see and hear the comments standing at the results wall- I have seen greenies crying after mean things are said... It is terrible to see a greenie getting scolded by a parent, really?

GREEN is NOT supposed to be a racing fleet. If they want results then race in a valid race,  there will be tons if they keep racing.  Not a clinic green fleet. 


Now at some bigger events or events and clubs transitioning from Sabot C or the East,  do not follow this model and try to hold races and post scores.  These are clubs with strong Jr. training classes.  See Barnegat Bay several years of sailing before Green.   Generally,  California has been trying to persuade clubs to follow the racing green clinic approach and stop the insanity, keep more new racers.  We do not have the historic sailor numbers of the EAST Coast.  We propose that early racing scores makes some kids quit and stop clubs from doing “club against club” racing in Green instead of running a fun clinic for all kids equally.  


When not sure first Ask then Listen...

Always ask your coach for advice—guess what… you are not the first OPTI kid they have coached to the Championships!  We do not want kids discouraged or disgruntled.  You do not want your kid to make enemies for life.  

HOOT!  HAVE A HOOT!  The OPTI GREEN TO CHAMP formula “works”! So let it work for you and your children.
Madeleine McJones,
Mar 14, 2014, 11:43 AM