The EYC’s fleet of Optimist dinghies is one of its most popular racing fleets. The Optimist can be raced by EYC juniors ages 7 through 15, although most EYC Optimist racers are ages 8-13.
In 2012, the EYC is expanding Optimist racing opportunity in several ways:
* The EYC’s Optimist fleet will be increased to twelve, up 50% from our 2011 level of eight. In 2012, we will add four used Optimists, one donated by Joel and Suzy Dykman, one purchased by the EYC’s Larry Lewis Memorial Fund, and two purchased using EYC general funds.
* The EYC will double the number of weekly Optimist race dates. In 2012, we will hold Optimist Races on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings. This is in addition to the existing schedule of Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings.
* The Optimist races will be divided into three separate series. The June Optimist Series will be for all racers through age 15, and will include all races in June. The Optimist Blue Fleet series (Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings, July 1 through August 9) will be limited to competitors who have not yet reached their 12th birthday as of July 1, 2012. The Optimist Red Fleet series (Saturday afternoons and Tuesday evenings, July 3 through August 11) is limited to competitors who have reached their 12th birthday but have not yet reached their 16th birthday as of July 1, 2012.
By splitting the July-August series into two age groups, for any given Optimist competitor the EYC preserves the same number of weekly races dates (two) as in 2011, while more than doubling that competitor’s chances of drawing a boat on any given day. In addition, the EYC believes that separating the competitors by age will lead to more skill level parity among racers on each race day, which will lead to more enthusiasm for racing among juniors.
The Optimist Regatta will be expanded to a two-day event in 2012 (Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, July 7-8) and will not segregate racers by age.
However, even with this massive expansion of Optimist racing opportunity, the EYC cannot guarantee that there will be enough EYC-owned Optimists for every EYC junior who wishes to race an Optimist on any given day. Therefore, any parent who wishes to guarantee that their junior will always have an Optimist to race should purchase their own Optimist. The EYC has dry slips available for private Optimists.
If you have any questions about Optimist racing at the EYC in 2012, contact the EYC’s Race and Regatta’s Chairman, Bjorn Hooper, [email protected]