GREEN FLEET RACING GUIDELINES FOR SAILORS, PARENTS, REGATTA ORGANIZERS AND RACE OFFICIALS
WHAT WE KNOW :
All the benefits associated with playing in little boats can be enjoyed for a lifetime. Gathering Opti kids together for a race or series of well structured races will foster skill development, good sportsmanship and lifelong friendships. Creating a healthy racing environment will have tremendous long term beneifits for the individual and our sailing clubs. If we get it wrong our young sailors will walk away from the sport and in many cases, never come back. WE HAVE TO MAKE IT FUN AND SAFE.
A LITTLE ABOUT GREEN FLEET:
Green fleet is designed as an introductory level of Optimist racing. Green fleeters can be any age up to fifteen years old. A Green fleet may have skippers who are as young as six and as old as fifteen, but sooner or later they will move into their appropriate fleet. A ten year old green fleeter canmove into white fleet, a thirteen year old green fleeter canmove into red fleet, etc. It is obvious that when a sailor has developed beyond the green fleet, and at that point they should be moved up as soon as possible. The Green fleet is a fundamental stepping stone, with emphasis on learning and mastering skills, sportsmanlike conduct and the racing rules of sailing. The emphasis is on learning rather than winning.
Provide fifteen year old and younger ‘’ beginner’’ Optimist sailors with their own race area and green fleet.
· Put smiles on the kids faces
· Provide a safe environment on and off the water
· Keep it fun
· Develop basic sailing skills
· Encourage family participation
· Provide lots of positive feedback
· Introduce sailboat racing and team racing
GENERAL STRUCTURE FOR GREET FLEET RACING:
· Schedule a Green Fleet only skippering meeting where you will walk the kids through the days activities on and off the water, diagram the race area, course starting sequence, provide helpful racing tips and review basic race rules (2-3).
· Race as close to your yacht club shore as possibe. A short sail to the race area is desired and lends itself to parental viewing. It allows a quick return to shore when the wind gets too strong or there is gear failure.
· Schedule the green fleet dock start after the “ championship fleet” have left for their race area.
· Encourage on the water learning and allow for coaching and instruction while the racing is underway.
· Keep the races under 30 minutes if possible. Offer on and off-water games with the Opti as part of the regatta. Discretion is given to the race organizers as to how many races are acceptable.
· Start off race 1 with a short winward / leeward as a warm up.
· Come ashore for lunch and review the mornings racing and provide more instructional tips.
· Schedule a reaching race if the winds get strong enough where the majority of boats will upset, and or gybing conditions are dangerous.
· Don’t stay on the water too long.
· Come in off the water if the majority of kids are scared.
· Races are not scored as the emphasis in on learning rather than winning. Participant awards should be provided with each green fleet sailor recognized. Additional awards may be awarded for sportsmanship/safety (helping fellow sailors), completing all races, using self rescuing techniques, proper use of rules etc.
MOVING OUT OF GREEN FLEET
There are many ways to tell if a sailor is ready to move out of Green Fleet. The following considerations should be kept in mind :
1. Advice of coaches and parents
2. Opinion of the sailor
3. Sailor is able to sail adequately in both moderate breeze and light wind
4. Sailor is able to finish race within the time limit and not be consistently at the back of the fleet
5. Sailor has mastered the race course and essential safety manœuvres
6. Sailor has acheived basic level of competency and maturity
Note : A sailor may stay in Green fleet year after year if he/she wants and there is no requirement to move to the next level.
The following are CODA Green Fleet Guidelines to Coaches and Race Officials.
1. Skippers must be age 15 or under as of December 31st of the current year;
2. A sailor can register in Green fleet in a particular regatta, notwithstanding that a sailor has registeredin the Championship fleet in a prior event.
3. Coaching of Green fleet skippers will be permitted at all times while racing. Discretion is left to the coaches as to who requires coaching on the water (aiding sailors in difficulty or sanction of unsportsman-like conduct.)
4. Green fleet overall results will not be provided in order according to the race results by the race organizers and each participant should receive a participation medal or award.
5. Individual awards are not to be awarded to top finishers as the CODA objective is for sailors to acquire abilities and confidence rather than trophies.
6. No protests will be submitted to the Jury from the Green fleet and we recommend that there be a case by case approach by coaches and officials for incidents in the race area and to meet with the sailors involved.