FAQ Opti Racing

Our Racing Team is divided into two groups, the "Opti Green Team" and "Opti Race Team." Our Optimist racers are from 9-15 years old and enjoy improving their racing skills around the SF Bay Area and along the west coast. The Opti Green team is for sailors with less than a year sailing in Optimists, but who understand the basics of sailing and need an introduction to racing skills. The Opti Race team is for sailors who have experience racing Optimists around the Bay and are looking to refine racing skills. Register now!

What is an Optimist?

  • Often referred to as an "Opti"
  • Single design, one person sailboat designed for beginner sailors under 16
  • Small pram with a gaff type rig; smaller than an El Toro and easier for young children to handle and right, should it flip over
  • More than 150,000 kids in more than 110 countries worldwide sail Optis.
  • Largest and fastest growing dinghy class in the world
  • World’s most popular boat with over 100,000 sold
  • Best way for kids to learn to sail - over 85% of the sailing medal winners in the last Olympics were former Optimist sailors
  • Large and vibrant Bay Area Opti fleet with sailing opportunities not only on the Peninsula but around San Francisco Bay, California and the US
What will be taught in the Learn to Sail classes?
  • Capsizing and righting a boat. Basic safety and sailing skills.
  • Boat handling, proper upwind sailing and tacking.
  • Sailing downwind with jibes, racing, and basic right-of-way rules.
  • Boat speed, boat handling and knot tying.
  • Small class "regattas"

What kind of Optimist racing can I do?

  • Beginners - If you want to learn to sail, then the Optimist is a great way to get started. You should be at least 8 years old, but many kids start at a later age. The upper limit is that you must be younger than 16.
  • Green Fleet - As a Green Fleet Novice sailor you will have the opportunity to sail in some of the sailing regattas held at PYSF and around the Bay Area. Many Green Fleet Sailors practice throughout the school year at PYSF, and attend the summer sessions to hone their skills.
  • Championship Fleet - Once you are well on your way to developing advanced sailing skills in an Opti, you may qualify to join the Championship Fleet. Some of our Championship Fleet team qualified and attended the Opti National Team Racing Trials in Connecticut for 2009 and most of our Championship Fleet has also qualified for Opti National Team Trails in Houston in April 2010.

What are the age groups for each fleet?

Green Fleet - First year of racing
White Championship Fleet - ages 10 and younger
Blue Championship Fleet - ages 11-12
Red Championship Fleet -ages 13-15