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Burghfield Sailing Club
Hangar Road
Berks RG7 4AP

01189 303 604

Optimist Racing

Optimist Racing


The Racing Group

Once a young sailor has achieved IOCA grade 3 or the RYA equivalent they are eligible to join the racing group. The racing group is aimed at those sailors who wish to compete with their friends and attend open meetings. To race a sailor needs an Optimist that is suitable for racing and the necessary kit and clothing to spend longer periods out on the water. Sailing in the racing group is more challenging and sailors are expected to increase their commitment in order to progress. Some racing group members sail between three and four times a week during the summer and weekly during the winter, however this is entirely optional and is not for everyone.

Racing group sailors are encouraged to apply for the RYA zone squads and IOCA Squads and to attend the optimist winter training programme organised over the winter period. Those in the racing group must become a member of IOCA.

How it Works

Racing group is divided into three fleets, Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Bronze fleet and are encouraged to sail in the regatta fleet at open meetings. The Silver fleet is for those who are sailing in the main fleet at events and will usually have achieved the IOCA racing red award. Gold fleet is primarily aimed at those who have been selected to train in the RYA zone squads* and the IOCA squads.

* It is recognised that the standard of zone squads throughout the country is variable. Therefore the south zone is considered to be the minimum standard for Gold fleet. In exceptionally rare circumstances the flotilla leader may award a discretionary place in gold fleet.

Training for the racers is generally organised most Sunday mornings at 1030 and on Friday evenings during the summer. Most of the racing group also join in with the clubs Wednesday evening series. On occasion’s single day and weekend training is organised with professional coaches, on these occasions parental contributions are required towards costs.


Racing group sailors require a high level of parental support, including financial, emotional and most importantly, time. Please seek advice from the fleet leaders at every stage of your child’s development. Sailing is a very challenging and complex sport and the standards of the Optimist fleet are very high throughout the country. However, the rewards are high in terms of a child’s personal development and confidence. Young sailors make life long friends on the circuit and often become immersed in a sailing lifestyle that is both positive and productive and most importantly lots and lots of fun.

If you have any skills you can offer the racing group please do step forward. We are always in need of powerboat drivers, coaches, admin assistance and general help.

Local Open Meetings & Major Events

Forthcoming optimist events that Burghfield sailors are likely to be attending.
Further details for events can be found below. We'll try and keep up to date with extra information and details about who is planning to compete.

For up to date details of all Optimist events around the country visit the calendar area of the IOCA website

Whilst many of these events are months away, accommodation at the major events can be hard to find, and it's wise to book early.

Annual IOCA Major Events

Date Event
May IOCA Inland Championships
July or August IOCA Open National Championships
October IOCA End of season Championship

Main and Regatta Fleets. Main fleet results contribute to the Optimist National Rankings.

Main Fleet competitors must have their boat's measurement certificate which must be up to date, and be in the correct family name.

Regatta & Main Fleet buoyancy tests must be up to date.

See the Calendar section of the IOCA website for further details.


RYA South Zone Championships - Weymouth (September)

A multi-class Youth event for Optmist, Cadet, Feva, Hobie Dragoon, Laser 4.7, Topper, Mirror and windsurfers.

2nd of three qualifier events for the RYA South Zone Optimist Squad.

for more details visit RYA Zones



Team logo back

Travelling to an Optimist Event?

As more and more of the Optimist sailors venture to other clubs a large contingent of sailors and parents will be attending the main events and the open meetings. It was suggested that Burghfield should have some team gear. So, following numerous discussions, a decision has finally been made!

All garments are navy with a large embroidered logo, incorporating the four sail design from the team racing, on the back, and the Oppie Fleet logo (minus the year on the front).
Oppie no year Additional text may be added to the left sleeve of the poloshirts (sail number, name, "Support Crew" etc), for a small additional charge.

It is hoped that the poloshirts will be worn by all sailors (and many parents & supporters) for all events, and in particular for photos at prizegivings etc. In addition, to the poloshirts there is also a selection of hoodies, sweatshirts and fleeces available in both child and adult sizes.

Optimist Racing

Sailors that have developed their ability to IOCA Grade 3 and above, can progress into our racing fleet. During April to October, this runs alongside Oppie Club. During the colder months this runs standalone, sometimes there are dedicated training sessions, sometimes these are combined with other regional sailors, other times the kids compete in normal club Sunday racing. For further details on the racing side feel free to contact our . You may also find the information you need in our other sections of this site or at our Optimist Racing Page.

Created on 28/11/2005 05:45 PM by Burghfield Admin
Updated on 22/06/2017 05:11 PM by Douglas Calder
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