The Opti Race Program 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 opportunity 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). Team members must commit to a minimum of 2 weeks of participation, with 4-9 weeks encouraged and preferred. Off-island travel to regattas, within the sessions that the student is registered, will be mandatory. Off-island events may include the Stage Harbor Opti Regatta, Bass River Opti Regatta, Wianno Opti Regatta, Hyannisport Opti Invitational, among others. The All-Island Race Team will often practice and travel as two distinct groups - the Green Fleet team and the Championship Fleet team. Coaches will make a determination as to which is the best fit for each sailor continuously throughout the summer.
The Racing Program focuses on the more advanced aspects of racing, such as performance boathandling, acceleration, upwind strategies, mark-rounding, downwind and reaching tactics, advanced tacking and gibing 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.
The program will be headquartered at the Nantucket Yacht Club Boathouse, where sailors will be dropped off and picked up each day. Practices will run from 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday. Sailors will meet at 1:00 PM at the NYC boathouse and bring lunch with them. Each sailor will use the on-water resources associated with the program with which s/he is registered. Off-Island travel billing will be handled separately by individual club/organization billing departments. For more information on off-island travel expenses and billing, as well as team expectations and travel, please refer to the Handbook. (coming soon)
**From time to time, All-Island Race Team members will be invited to a full-day practice. This will help them to gain more time on the water, similar to full day regattas. The dates of full day practices are TBD and parents will be notified ahead of time. Sailors who choose to join the full day practice, will be asked to bring lunch and their account will be billed $32.50.
Nantucket Yacht Club additionally opens Saturday one-design racing up to the Opti fleet on two Saturdays each summer. Race team members are encouraged to participate in this "on-island" regatta/racing. Sailors' accounts will be billed $30 per race day.
12:15 - Competitor's meeting at the NYC Sail Room
1:00 - Estimated time of the first race
4:15 - Approximate end of racing, awards ceremony following at NYC
4:45 - Approximate pick-up time at NYC
When sailors attend off-island regattas, All-Island coaches will pay for all meals, housing and transportation up front. Sailor's individual accounts will then be billed at the END of August for all regatta fees - once all expenses have been reconciled. The team makes every effort to stay with host families at the local yacht clubs we visit; and sailors are guided to stay within certain cost limits for dinners. Lunches and breakfasts are almost always provided by the host club. Other expenses billed for include: costs for moving off-island opti trailers, fuel for vehicles and coach boats, and ferry tickets. Ferry tickets are purchased at a team travel rate. Occasional expenses beyond this may include hotel rooms when home-stays are not available and rental cars when a large number of sailors are traveling.
Participants in weekly training sessions will register with their respective organization. Sailors should have appropriate sailing gear, including closed toe shoes (mandatory).
It is important to note that non-NYC sailors and their families understand that this program is separate from the NYC Junior Sailing Guest Program; as such, visiting team members may only use the NYC Boathouse, access to the main clubhouse is not permitted. Non-member families may enter the parking lot after checking in with the NYC parking attendant between 12:50 PM and 1:00 PM for a drop-off only, no parking is allowed at this time. If parents need to meet with coaches, they will be able to obtain parking permits for meetings at the 4:30 PM pick-up time or they are always welcome to park off-site/on the street. Sailors cannot be dropped off prior to 12:50 PM.
FAQ: When is a sailor "too big" for an Opti?
NCS Opti coaches recommend that a sailor who is over 115 lbs and/or 5'2" sail in either Whalers Class, if under 12 years of age, or Teen Green, if 12 years of age or older. Private lessons may also be taken. If a sailor is over this size, but under 12 years of age, please email the Program Director, Emily Taylor firstname.lastname@example.org - we're happy to find the right fit for your student.
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Don't forget to dress appropriately for the various NCS Fun Days
throughout the summer!