IODA has almost 120 national fleets and is committed to bringing the benefits of sailing to young people worldwide. It offers limited financial aid to "newer" countries in three areas.
1) Free boats - the "6 for 5" scheme
Countries seeking to start or enlarge Optimist fleets can apply for one free boat for every five bought.
- The boats may be bought from any approved builder. Several builders offer very special prices for IODA-sponsored purchases.
- They must all be owned by an association, club or other "not-for-profit" organisation, and;
- They must all be available to introduce the children of non-sailors to the sport.
Consideration may also be given to supplying sails and rigs for locally-built wood/epoxy Optimists.
More than 400 Optimists have been sponsored under this scheme in recent years.
2) Coach-Training Courses
IODA has an ongoing programme of courses to train "basic-level" coaches. These are intended for newer Optimist sailing countries and regions which do not have an established national coaching programme.
An experienced Optimist trainer is sent to conduct a course of max. ten days duration. Ideally ten coaches attend, together with not more than 20 under-13 sailors.
Travel costs and fees are paid by IODA, up to US$2,500 per course.
- Applications are accepted only from national Optimist associations or sailing federations which are members of IODA, and all applications should be made through them. A list of these members is at members.php
- Preference is given to courses for coaches from more than one country
- Where possible the course is given in the local language.
- September through March are the preferred months
In 2018, clinics were held in Slovakia, Tanzania, Colombia, and the Cayman Islands.
3) Participation: Regional Regatta Grants
To encourage participation in regional regattas IODA offers free entry and/or travel for certain countries to send sailors to continental and regional regattas. Normally these grants are given for two sailors when a country first participates in such a regatta.
In the last five years 21 countries have received IODA grants. These have been concentrated in Africa and the Caribbean/Central America but other countries have also benefitted
(1 = Equipment 2 = Training 3 = Participation)
Africa Americas Other
Angola (1) Bahamas (3) Armenia (1)
Kenya (3) Belize (1 & 2) Cook I. (3)
Libya (2) Dominica (1 & 2) Iceland (3)
Mozambique (1 & 2) El Salvador (1) Kyrgyzstan (1)
Seychelles (1) Paraguay (1 & 2) Philippines (3)
Sudan (1 & 2) St. Kitts & Nevis (1) Romania (2)
Zimbabwe (3) St. Vincent & G. (3) Vanuatu (2)
APPLICATIONS FOR 2020 ARE INVITED
Just write to the IODA Secretariat and tell us what YOU need to help to develop Optimist sailing in YOUR country.
Countries which already have a Member National Optimist Association should apply through that association.