What events do we send USA International Teams to?
International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) World & Continental Championships:
At IODA events, sailors & coaches travel, stay, eat, and sail together as a team. IODA provides in country transportation, accomodations, and meals for sailors & coaches. IODA events are designed for the top level sailors who are highly independent.
IODA Optimist World Championship
IODA Optimist European Championship
IODA Optimist Asian & Oceanian Championship
IODA Optimist South American Championship
IODA Optimist North American Championship
At invitational events sailors & coaches typically travel, stay, eat, and sail together as a team. Accomodations are often provided for sailors & coaches. Invitational events are designed for the top level sailors who are highly independent.
Optimist Team Cup Berlin
Trofeo Marco Rizzotti
At open events sailors travel, stay, and eat with parents/guardians. Open events are designed for team trials qualified sailors who must show independent sailing skills (dressing in sailing gear, rigging, boat handling, focus & attention during debriefs).
Palamos Optimist Trophy
Magic Marine Easter RegattaOptiOrange Valencia
Lake Garda Optimist Meeting
Belgium Nieuwpoortweek Regatta
British National Championship
At girls events sailors travel, stay, and eat with parents/guardians. The team will be composed entirely of female sailors. Girls events are designed for team trials qualified sailors who must show independent sailing skills (dressing in sailing gear, rigging, boat handling, focus & attention during debriefs).
The International Committee may change which events the USA will send teams to yearly, based on state department travel restrictions, conflicting dates, and/or other invitations/opportunities the may be presented throughout the year.
Where can I qualify for a USA International Team?
There are 6 National Events a year (4 fleet racing and 2 team racing) designated as 'Qualifying Events' at which class members can compete to represent the USODA at international regattas:
Spring Team Qualifier (STQ)
Team Race Midwinters
Team Race Nationals
The Schedule for all International events is posted on the USODA International page.
This is where you can see which International Teams will be selected from each Qualifying Event. Each year the schedule may be different as the regattas are not always held the same time of year. The International Committee takes into account when a regatta is taking place and event selection when making the schedule.
Who is eligible to represent the USA?
Any boy or girl may enter until 31st December of the year in which he or she attains the age of 15 years. Sailors qualified by age to start the event are allowed to finish it. Sailors shall be either nationals or bona fide residents of the country they represent, unless otherwise agreed by the IODA Executive Committee & USODA International Committee.
A sailor who has represented one country at an IODA World or Continental Championship shall not represent another country except in cases of alteration of residence, which cases shall be approved by the IODA Executive Committee & USODA International Committee. As per World Sailing Regulations Appendix 3, Item 19.6 (d), IODA Events require competitors to have ‘World Sailing Eligibility’ as defined in Item 19.4 and 19.5.
When bona fide resident sailors are members of a team, they shall not be more than 50% of the sailors of their team, unless otherwise agreed by the IODA Executive Committee & USODA International Committee.
For questions regarding Dual Passports or Bona Fide Resident application process, please contact the USODA Executive Director at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or USODA International Chair at email@example.com.
Can you explain the International Team Selection Process?
Please read these documents carefully, as there are changes from previous years!
Before the qualifying event, you should discuss and review:
Which events are being seeded (IODA, Invitational, Open Event)
International team budgets
Dates of the events
Talk to your Coach(es) to get input for which events are right for you . For example you may ask your coach(es):
What are my individual goals for the year?
What weather conditions are right for me?
What events would help me achieve these goals?
Am I ready for IODA “sleep away camp”, where I am not staying with my parents?
Am I capable of being dropped off for sailing and able to dress, rig, sail, and debrief without the help from my parents?”
Talk to your Teachers/School Administrators to see if they will support you, if event dates conflict with school schedules. The USODA believes that it is important for the sailors to stay focused and committed to academics while pursuing their goals and dreams.
Attend the International Presentation. Presentations are held at team trials and spring team qualifier with both in-person/zoom and recorded zoom options.
If you need answers to other questions please do not hesitate to contact the International Committee.
Yay! I think I qualified! What happens next?
Invitations for teams will be issued to eligible competitors based on each competition’s order of finish at the Qualifying Event. At the time an invitation is received, the competitor will be able to choose one event from those that are available at that time. Each competitor will have a single 24-hour window to accept their invitation by selecting one event from those available at the time they receive their invitation, paying all registration fees, and completing the online International Team Selection Waiver & Acknowledgement, Parent Code of Conduct and Competitor Code of Conduct.
Invitations will be sent to the email addresses on file for the sailor. Parents will have 24-hours to register the sailor. After the 24-hour window expires, the next sailor qualified from the list will be invited. Parents are highly encouraged to accept the invitation immediately
How and when will the Team contact me?
You can expect to be contacted shortly after the team is finished being selected. Sailors do cancel and move between teams, and it takes longer then expected to finalize teams. Once finalized, the International Committee will add you to a Team WhatsApp group. The coach(es) will send out a text to the team via WhatsApp and set up a zoom meeting. Note that the text will go to the parent contact listed for the skipper. It helps if parents already have downloaded WhatsApp.
How is the travel schedule determined?
The budget for each USODA international team is calculated based on the following travel schedule: arrival day, early arrival practice days, measurement and/or opening ceremonies, race days, and departure day. This schedule may be modified with approval of the International Committee. The coaches and support parent will confirm the travel schedule at the team zoom meeting. Please do not make travel plans until you have had this meeting!
Who helps with travel arrangements?
In most cases housing and charter boats have been prearranged by USODA, either because the event is organized by IODA and includes the housing and charter arrangements, or because the event is held in the same location each year and USODA has a standing reservation which has worked well in the past years. The USODA travel agent, Elizabeth Kratzig, has worked with USODA families at most of our events over many years and can assist with air tickets, rental cars, hotels, etc. Note that there is a modest per family charge.
Travel Agent: Elizabeth Kratzig
Who is responsible for the team's budgeting and accounting?
USODA prepares a draft budget and collects the budgeted registration fee when a sailor accepts their invitation. Net proceeds from the process are forwarded to the support parent who is thereafter responsible for the funds, the budget, and a final accounting for the event. Net proceeds include credit card charges, monies actually paid out in advance by USODA on behalf of the team including registrations and charters, and $100 per sailor for the International Travel Fund.
Preliminary International Team Budgets are posted on the USODA International Page.
What is the refund policy?
There will be NO REFUNDS of registration fees once a sailor has accepted an invitation to a team and paid the registration fee, unless that spot can be filled by another sailor, in which case we will refund the registration fee, less $500.
If any event is cancelled by the Organizing Authority (OA), or the team is unable to travel due to State Department travel restrictions, USODA will only be able to provide refunds to sailors based on what is available in that team’s account. It is important that families understand the financial risk should their sailor not be able to attend the event or the event is cancelled.
Coach, Team Leader, Country Rep and Support Parent Definitions
Coach: The person responsible for all on water and technical sailing issues.
Team Leader: The person responsible for all onshore issues, the link between the Organizing Authorities (OA) and the team. Only IODA events have Team Leaders.
Country Representative: The person officially registered with a vote at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Only the IODA Optimist World Championship has a Country Rep.
Support Parent: The person responsible for the team budget, organizing team gear, organizing team dinner, and delegating others to help the team where needed (i.e., water on coach boats, snacks, laundry, filling coach boats, bringing coolers, flags, etc.), the link between the coach/team leader and the team parents.
In the event of a problem first contact the support parent. If the problem is more personal in nature contact the team leader (at an IODA event) or the coach (at a Invitational/Open event). At any time you may also contact the International Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are Support Parents selected?
Support Parents are selected by the USODA International Committee in consultation with Team Coaches. The goal is to select a parent who has a good working relationship with the coach(es), and has experience with other USODA international teams, with first choices to be a USODA Board Member. This is a difficult job and all parents of international sailors are expected to take on some responsibility to ensure success of the event. Please email email@example.com if you are interested.
How are coaches and team leaders selected?
Coaches and Team Leaders are selected by the USODA International Committee following an application process. The committee tries to balance between previous USODA coaches, coaches new to the class, and select internationally- recognized top optimist coaches. Many factors are considered, including, but not limited to, the sailing competency of the sailors that will be attending the event, the number of sailors attending the event, whether the group of sailors attending the event are likely to have attended another international regatta, whether the coach is known by USODA, etc. USODA requires all coaches and team leaders to clear background checks, complete US Sailing SafeSport training, and sign a coach code of conduct.
I have more questions. Who can I contact?
The International Committee is happy to answer any additional question that you may have.