At the June 5 meeting NZIODA Committee voted to introduce a new White fleet.
A lot of feedback from the class membership has been about the size of the jump for sailors moving from Green fleet to Open fleet. After a number of sessions around vision and mission for NZIODA, that were held during the Development Camp, it became clear that a key focus for the current Committee should be engagement. From this stand point the Committee intends to broaden the appeal of Optimist sailing, and thus the number of sailors involved in the Optimist class by engaging the whole class, not just those that want to compete. It was with great pleasure that the NZIODA Committee at the June meeting unanimously passed the addition of an White fleet into the regatta structure.
We see the introduction of this new fleet as fulfilling two roles:
1 - To be a transitional fleet for sailors that enjoy competitive racing, and
2 - Allow sailors to continue sailing while enjoying the mate-ship, comradery and social aspects of sailing.
While the fine details are still being worked through the intent is that the White fleet will:
- Not be ranked
- Take part in regattas with fewer races and / or shorter regatta days
- Be a fleet for Green Fleet sailors to move into, bridging the current Open to Green fleet gap
- Be self selecting, there will not be fleet entry criteria and sailors can swap between White or Open fleets as they wish i.e. A Sailor can choose which fleet they would like to sail in (White or Open) for any regatta
- Celebration of success within this class through placings and prizes for overall and female sailors will occur like current Green and Open fleets
- Rule 42 will not be applied to White Fleet Sailors
- Still Racing Score time limits will be extended
- White fleet sailors won't be eligible for NZIODA travelling or Development Teams
We look forward to enhancing the sailing experiences of the Optimist class over the coming year.