The All-Island Opti Race Team is the most advanced program for young Optimist sailors on-island. In 2014, Nantucket Yacht Club, Nantucket Community Sailing and Great Harbor Yacht Club joined their Opti Race teams to offer the All-Island Opti Race Team. The mission is to enhance the experience and skill level of Nantucket Opti racers by improving opportunities for high-level instruction, training and competition. Admittance to the program will be based upon skill level, commitment, maturity and desire to improve and will be by invitation only (by the student's home program director). The All-Island Race Team will run two sessions this year. The first session will be a two-week session that will focus on boat-handling and boat speed to reacclimate sailors to the boat and shake off the winter rust. The second session will be a six-week session where the bulk of regattas and racing will take place.
The Racing Program focuses on the more advanced aspects of racing, such as performance boat handling, acceleration, upwind strategies, mark-rounding, downwind and reaching tactics, advanced tacking and gybing techniques, tactical finishes, sailing rules, etc. Students in the class are considered members of a team. Once on the team, sailors are strongly encouraged to continue in the Opti until they "age out'' or "weigh out,' meaning they either turn 16 or weigh over 125 pounds.
Practices will run from 1:00PM-5:00PM Monday-Friday, and will be held at the Nantucket Yacht Club Boathouse. Full day practices may be scheduled. On Thursday afternoons, students will compete in the All-island Race Day. Other on-island events include an Opti Race Clinic, a Saturday Race Day, and Nantucket Race Week in August, which the Opti Race program team members are encouraged to participate in. The All-Island Opti Race Team is a travel team, competing in several off-island regattas along the southern Massachusetts coast. All-Island Opti Race Team Members can anticipate sailing in two off-island regattas during the summer season.
On the first day of each new session, students will have a basic swim check. While life jackets are provided and required, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have basic swimming skills. Students may bring their own PFD (USCG Type III), should they choose. We ask that students wear appropriate shoes (closed-toe) when participating, Native Footwear, Keen, Crocs and old sneakers all work well. Private lessons may be also be booked on our Jetties Sailing Center website; lessons are offered Monday - Saturday.
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