Optimist FAQ's

Keep checking this page we are working on the answers.

If there are any other questions that you feel need to be answered to encourage new sailors please submit to
Keith Richardson, Class Development Officer

What is an Optimist Dinghy?



At what age should a child start sailing an Optimist?



What is CODA and how can I join?



What kind of Optimist should I buy and how much will it cost?



How do I get a sail number for a new Optimist?



How and where can I race my Optimist?



How can I join a sailing club that sails Optimists?



Where can I get a boat?



Is there any fun on the Optimist circuit?



Need more info?



What fleet is my sailor in and how are the ages for Red, Blue and White fleets defined?

A skipper can only race Optimists until December 31st in the year they turn 15. On December 31st of that year, they age out of Optimists and can no longer race the boat.

Sound complicated? It really isn't. The fleets keep the competition fair and challenging for everyone. They also help you see how you're doing against other skippers your own age. Good luck, sail fast, and have fun!

We get many questions about the different fleets (age groups) found at Optimist regattas. Here's a simple explanation.

It wouldn't be fair to make a beginner race against skippers who have been racing for years.

To make Optimist racing in Canada as fair as possible, the class puts each skipper into an age group, called a fleet. Trophies are awarded to the top skippers in each age group, or fleet.

White fleet is for skippers who are 10 or under. Blue fleet is for skippers who are 11 or 12. Red fleet is for skippers who are 13, 14, or 15. In all fleets, the determining date is the skipper's age at the end of the current year. At most regattas, the red, blue, and white fleets all start at the same time and race on the same course.

What about this Green Fleet?

Ok so far? Now, what's green fleet? Green fleet is a special fleet for beginners. Green fleeters can be any age up to 15. A green fleet might have skippers who are as young as 6 and as old as 15, but sooner or later they'll move into their appropriate fleet. A ten year old green fleeter would move into white fleet, a thirteen year old green fleeter would move into red fleet, etc.

The purpose of the Green Fleet is to encourage novice sailors. The Spirit of Green Fleet is to ensure that novice sailors do not get overwhelmed by the more experienced, aggressive sailors and are able to sail at a level that they feel comfortable. Once a Green Fleet sailor obtains a level of proficiency they would be expected to move on to the Championship Fleet races (White, Blue or Red depending on their age). Read here for more info on the Green Fleet.