To enhance sailors’ development through intensive training blocks providing detailed feedback and ongoing dialogue from coaches, a fitness and healthy-eating component, and international racing opportunities.
To place U.S. sailors in the top 10 in all of the IODA fleet racing championships to which USODA sends teams.
To medal at all IODA events to which USODA sends teams.
To create pathways for sailors to bridge to other classes of youth racing and potentially Olympic development teams.
To create sailors well versed in the fundamentals of sailboats and sailing
The USNT season kicks off each year with team selection at Team Trials in late April or early May and runs through Team Trials of the next year. Overall team size is limited to 36 sailors, not including seniors, to provide opportunities for the top-level sailors to attend high-level, national training blocks. Because sailors can progress dramatically in a six-month period, the USNT entry process includes the addition of sailors following the Spring Team Qualifier event.
Each season there is a full training block schedule, typically with 4 – 5 training blocks planned in different regions of the country, often tied to a major USODA or other optimist regatta. The USNT Performance Director designs a comprehensive curriculum for the training blocks to push the top sailors to the next level of their competitive sailing capabilities.
The USNT is comprised of the top 36 sailors (not including seniors) from the Optimist Team Trials results, plus the top 15 sailors from the Optimist Spring Team Qualifier who are not already USNT members. Additional sailors may be added to the Team at any point throughout the season at the sole discretion of the USNT Committee and the USNT Performance Director.
Sailors joining the USNT following Team Trials will be required to pay a membership fee of $600. Sailors joining after the Spring Team Qualifier will be required to pay a membership fee of $500. There will be a pre-determined registration fee for each training block based on location and various other factors for USNT members signing up for the training block.
Training Block Refund Policy
If a sailor cancels before the initial registration deadline, then they may receive a full refund, less credit card/clubspot fees, or a $25 administrative fee, whichever is higher.
If a sailor cancels after the initial deadline, but before registration closes (within the "late fee" period), they may receive a refund for the practice fee less the late fee, but only if their spot can be filled by another sailor.
Among the core elements of a successful USNT program is world-class coaching. The USNT Committee works hard to involve as many of the great coaches active in the U.S. circuit as possible and to integrate international team coaches with the national team program. The team will maintain favorable coach to sailor ratios to ensure that every sailor gets individual attention and meaningful, ongoing feedback.
USNT Performance Director – The USNT Performance Director is responsible for the overall professional leadership of the USNT and creates curricula for the USNT training blocks that will challenge sailors of all levels.
USNT Coach Council - This group was formed in 2015. It is an advisory board, comprised of coaches who have worked with the USNT over the years and who represent the geographical areas in the U.S. where the Optimist class has a strong presence. The Coach Council creates stronger ties between various programs and teams throughout the U.S. and the National Team Program.
Guest sailors may be invited at the sole discretion of the USNT Perfomance Director and USNT Committee.