The mission of the United States Optimist National Team is to:
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 practices. 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. The USNT Committee also works closely with the International Committee to ensure that two practices per year complement the IODA traveling teams and prepare them for their events.
Each season there is a full practice schedule, typically with 4 – 5 practices 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 practices to push the top sailors to the next level of their competitive sailing capabilities.
The USNT is comprised of up to 36 sailors (not including seniors) based on the 2021 Optimist Team Trials results, and approximately 42 sailors following the 2021 Optimist Spring Team Qualifier depending upon final results for the event. An additional five (5) sailors may be added to the Team at any point throughout the season at the discretion of the USNT Committee and the USNT Performance Director.
Sailors joining the USNT in the spring will be required to pay a membership fee of $650. 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 practice based on location and various other factors for USNT members signing up for the practice.
Sailors who qualify for a summer or spring IODA international team and who are not members of the USNT may be invited as guest sailors to one (1) USNT practice at the discretion of the USNT Committee and the USNT Performance Director. If a non-USNT sailor qualifies for both a summer international IODA team and a spring international IODA team, the sailor may be invited to two (2) practices. The sailor will not become a member of the USNT, but he or she may have the opportunity to train with one or more coaches and many fellow sailors from the international IODA team of which he/she is a part.
Practice dates and locations will generally be tied to a major USODA or other optimist regatta. The intent is to host practices prior to Nationals, Spring Team Qualifiers, Orange Bowl and Team Trials.
In addition to the USNT practices, the Team may be invited to attend international events such as Bermuda Nationals, Monaco Team Race and Singapore Nationals.
2021-22 Tentative Practice Schedule
|November||Pre-Spring Team Qualifiers Practice|
|December||Pre-Orange Bowl Practice|
|February||Spring International Teams Practice|
|April/May||Pre-Team Trials Practice|
All USNT members are expected to attend a minimum of two (2) practices per season. Practice attendance will be a pre-requisite for invitation to USNT sponsored events.
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.