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 IOD 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. Refer to By-law 21
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. If a sailor place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in three White Fleet regattas, they must register in the appropriate age fleet in the competitive group. If it is obvioous that a sailor has developed beyond the green fleet they should be moved up as soon as possible.
The purpose of the green fleet is to encourage novice sailors.