Criteria for the selection of the African Optimist Team (Team RSA)
Continued participation in international events assists in keeping Optimist Sailing South Africa and its members/skippers abreast of developments in the class, gives input on where South Africa stands in the Optimist world and serves as a motivational goal to skippers.
Recently the class took a decision that it was desirable to compete with our top sailors at the African Optimist Continental Championship, with the objective of winning the regatta and to provide substance to our application for funding from SASCOC (South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee). With this in mind the option of attending the African Optimist Continental Championship is to be offered firstly to the top five qualifying sailors.
Optimist Sailing South Africa will send a team to both the IODA World and African Championships each year.
Selection Process of the National Optimist Squad
To be eligible for selection the sailor must attend one regional provincial championship and the South African National Championships of that year.
The sailor must have entered and have been scored finishing in the qualifying events.
Sailors in the South African Optimist Worlds and African teams competing internationally at their selected events will be granted exemption for missing their regions provincial championships. They will be scored average points for those provincials.
A national ranking ladder will be scored with the 2 provincials.
A ‘national squad’ will be selected from the sailors who finish in the top 30 places at the South African Sailing Youth National Regatta, provided that they have completed the requirements of sailing two provincial championships in the same year. Or they have an exemption which has been afforded to the skipper for reasons that are covered in the Broken Leg Policy, and that it has been formally applied for and granted by the Optimist Sailing Executive by majority vote.
Optimist Selection Regatta
The selection regatta should be held at an offshore location as far as possible. This is to mirror the fact that most African and World Championships are held on ‘open water’.
The venue of the selection regatta event will be determined by the timing of the Optimist World Championships for the coming year. For practical, timing and economic reasons the following shall apply:
• Should the World Championships be held in the European summer season, the selection regatta event will be held in conjunction with the WC Provincial Championships in April of that year.
• Should the World Championships be held in the European winter season, the selection regatta event will be held in conjunction with the KZN Provincial Championships in June/July of that year.
If for some reason the WC/KZN Provincials are to be held at an inland venue or at a time which does not comply with the above clause, the Executive and by majority vote will determine where and when the selection regatta event will be held.
Sailors will qualify in accordance with the final results of the regional provincial regatta after day 3 of the regatta, provided that at least 5 races have been sailed. Otherwise the results on the final day of the provincial regatta will be taken to select the team (at the end of day three it would be desirable to have a separate prize giving event to honor the sailors).
Qualifying sailors will be selected in accordance with the gender qualifying requirements of the Optimist African Championship.
1.1 Gender Quota: Members entering teams of 6 or more competitors shall register a minimum number of competitors of the opposite gender, as follows:
A separate NOR (Notice of Race) will be published and included into the provincial regatta as an appendix. The regional Reps in whose jurisdiction the selection regatta will be held must engage with their SAS counterparts and request the course to be used to be the ‘Optimist trapezoid’ course as is used in IODA Championships. They must stress that it is an Optimist Selection Regatta. The RRS low point scoring system will be used to score all the events included in the selection process.
South African Optimist Worlds and Africans Team Selection
The South African Optimist Team will be selected from 50% of the South African National Championships results and 50% of the Optimist Selection Regatta results.
The World Championships team will be the first 5 sailors. Should a Worlds skipper decline their right to attend the Worlds or African Championships, the next sailor in line will be allowed to enter provided that the gender equation of the African Championships as determined by IODA is met.
The Africans team shall be the first 10 sailors, which include the Worlds team plus an additional 5 sailors. Should the regatta allow more than ten sailors then the next in line according to rankings will be selected. Should a Africans skipper decline their right to attend the Worlds or African Championships, the next sailor in line will be allowed to enter provided that the gender equation of the African Championships as determined by IODA is met.
The participation in the Optimist World Championships and African Championships is self-funded by the participants. Funding of the South African Optimist team will be reviewed annually at the AGM.
Broken Leg Policy
A sailor may apply for relaxation of the need to attend a second provincial if for a substantiated medical or family matter for which application is made prior or during a provincial qualifying regatta.
In the case of the Optimist Class Nationals there is no broken leg policy, other than a situation where an African or Optimist Worlds Regatta timing clashes with the Class Nationals of that year. In this case the sailors who represent their class would qualify for selections and will score a finish in accordance with their position at the selection regatta of the following year as a national score. The results for nationals would be adjusted accordingly,
Any relaxation of the need to attend Provincial Championships will be given by the Optimist Sailing Executive by majority vote. There will be no appeal considered.
Background photograph by Karen Slater