How are USODA International Coaches and Team Leaders Selected?

The process of selecting coaches is difficult and one which is very carefully and thoughtfully undertaken by the International Committee of the USODA. The USODA makes a concerted effort to ensure that the International Committee is comprised of individuals with broad exposure to coaches, individuals with a depth of experience traveling to international regattas, individuals with children who are currently sailing optis and others who no longer have children sailing optis, but once did, and individuals representing the areas of the US where there are large pockets of opti sailors. While Committee composition and the number of Committee members changes from time to time, currently there are seven individuals on the Committee, including the President of the USODA, two past Presidents of the USODA, and three USODA Board members.

Many factors are considered by the International Committee, 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 has attended an international event on behalf of the USODA previously, whether the coach is known by the USODA, etc. While the USODA would like to give every coach the opportunity to coach the regattas they most desire, the USODA’s first priority is to send the best coach possible for each particular group of sailors. As you all know, our sailors work very hard, and give up a lot, to achieve the goal of representing the US internationally. In addition, their parents spend a small fortune getting them there with the average cost of attending an international regatta exceeding $7,500 per sailor. For these reasons, the USODA has chosen to implement this method of selecting coaches, over rotating coaches, etc.

Each IODA team shall be accompanied by one team leader who shall be responsible for the Team. The process of selecting team leaders for IODA events is also very carefully and thoughtfully undertaken.  Once a coach is selected for an IODA event, they are asked for input on the list of team leader candidates, although ultimately, the choice of the team leader is that of the International Committee.  The coach and team leader should have a good working relationship so that the entire focus is on the sailors' needs on and off the water.


How Do I Complete a Background Check?

Please email for further instructions.

For questions regarding if a cleared background check has been received by the USODA, or if your last background check is more than two-years old, or if you have questions regarding USA vs. International background checks, please contact the USODA Executive Director at or  +1 609 510 0798.


International Coach and Team Leader Travel & Expense Policy


How Do I Complete US Sailing SafeSport Training?

Here is a link to US Sailing's portal into SafeSport training:


Click on the block labeled, "Take SafeSport Training," and follow those instructions.


How Do I Join USODA as a Coach?

The USODA offers a coach membership. To join, go to and click on the red 'Join' button at the top right corner of the home page (see below).'


Coach, Team Leader and Country Rep Definitions

Coach: Appointed by the NCA to deal with all on water and technical sailing issues for a national team.

Team Leader:  Appointed by NCA to deal with all onshore issues for a national team.  Each team attending an IODA championship shall be accompanied by a Team Leader who shall be the responsible adult for the team.  The Team Leader is the most important link between the OA and the teams.  Their understanding and cooperation can contribute in a major way toward minimizing problems.

Country Representative:  The Country Representative is the person officially registered with a vote at the AGM on behalf of and appointed by the the Member NCA.


How do I Apply?

Call for Coaches
2023 Spring International Teams

Application Deadline: Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 11:59 pm

If you're interested in coaching one of the 2023 Spring USODA International team events, please read & submit the following to the USODA International Committee using the following links. The deadline for submitting applications is 11:59pm ET on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.


1.      Read Letter to Coaches

2.      Read International Coach and Team Leader Travel & Expense Policy

3.      Submit Coach Application Form

4.      Email Resume to

5.      Email IODA Training Plan (if applicable) to


Your application is complete when you receive and email from the International Committee stating “Received, thank you”.


The International Committee then meets and will select the coaches for the events.  If you are selected as an IODA coach you will receive a call from the International Chair and asked for a handful of names to be considered for team leader. The International Committee will take this into account but will ultimately make the final selection.


Once all selections are final the International Committee will announce on the USODA website.


Upon Selection, Coaches will need to submit/complete the following:

USODA Membership
Background Check (in needed)
Copy of US Sailing SafeSport Training
Copy of valid Passport
Copy of valid Visa, if applicable
Signed Coach Code of Conduct & Waiver


Coach Contact Information

USODA International Committee


US National Team Performance Director

Fernando 'Happy' Alegre


USODA Coaches Council

Arthur Blodgett, Chair


Optimist Development Program (USDT and Horizons)

Scott Lindley, National Co-Coordinator


MacKenzie McGuckin, National Co-Coordinator and Horizons Program


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