What is an Opti?

Optimist sailboats are designed especially for children, with exceptional safety and stability.  The Optimist is, quite simply, the boat in which the young people of the world learn to sail. It is a single sailor, 7'6" long flat-bottomed dinghy weighing only 77lbs.

Virtually every junior sailing program in the state of Florida and hundreds around the country introduce their youngest sailors to the sport in an Opti.


How do I get started racing an Opti?

You can join our Optimist Racing Team as a Green Fleet sailor.


Who should race in the Optimist Racing Team Green Fleet?

Most boys or girls who are 8 years old or older and have completed a week or two of Opti Intermediate Summer Camp will be eligible to join Green Fleet. If you enjoy zipping around out on the water in control of your own Opti, just wait until we teach you how to race one!


I'm in middle school.   Is that too late to start?

Absolutely not!  Some of our best Opti Racing Team sailors are middle school Green Fleeters.  


Is second grade too early to start?

Maybe.  When it comes to learning to race, the difference between second and third grade is significant.  Most third graders have the physical and mental stamina required to thrive in Green Fleet; most second graders do not.  With guidance from our Summer Camp instructors, we can help you determine the ideal time for your child to join the Opti Racing Team.  


What happens when I master Green Fleet?

More experienced junior sailors can remain sailing the Optimist until they are 15. Once they have mastered Green Fleet racing, they transition to the Red, White and Blue Fleet based upon their age. 10 year olds sail White Fleet, 11 and 12 year olds sail Blue Fleet and 13, 14 and 15 year olds compete in Red Fleet. Junior sailors spend a year or two as Green Fleeters before transitioning to Red, White or Blue.

After Optis, junior sailors can elect to transition to either a single handed Laser class sailboat or a double handed 420 class sailboat.


Is Green Fleet expensive?

NO! For the cost of a $100 annual USSCMC Junior Membership and a per season fee of $275 the US Sailing Center will teach your child a sport they can enjoy for the rest of their life.  We provide a fleet of well maintained Optimist sailboats and experienced instructors – we even have lifejackets for them to use.  All your child has to do is show up ready to race.


Where does the Optimist Racing Team practice?

We are fortunate to have a world class training and racing facility - US Sailing Center Martin County - right here in Jensen Beach, Florida.  The Sailing Center is open to the public and offers much more than just youth racing; come down and have a look!


When are Optimist Racing Team practices and regattas held?

The calendar page shows this season's full schedule.   We support kids and their parents by sending an instructor with a safety boat to several nearby weekend regattas in south and central Florida each year so the kids have a chance to test their new skills against other sailors from around the state.


How do I get more information about joining the Team?

Contact Alan Jenkinson, Executive Director USSCMC, at (772) 334-8085 or alan@usscmc.org.


Get On Board and Join the Fun!