Junior Olympics

US Sailing’s Junior Olympic Program is a nationwide series of regattas for youth ages 8 to 21. Each event in this family of regattas is hosted by a different club or organization, but all events share a common goal: to promote the enjoyment of sailing and development of skills to young sailors as well as provide an Olympic pathway for talented junior sailors.

Events mix Olympic-style competition with elements of learning and fun for all levels–from beginning racers to those with Olympic aspirations.

In 2014, 30 events are planned in the continental United States and Hawaii and over 4000 sailors expected to participate. Junior Olympic Sailing is coordinated by US Sailing and sponsored nationally by West Marine, Gill and Sperry Top-Sider.

What’s new for 2014?

US Sailing will pilot an exciting new format this year that benefits not only the sailors but also the coaches and instructors. Expanded education will be offered for race managers, volunteers and parents as well. The new theme is education – building the skills of sailors, broadening the curriculum for program directors, coaches and instructors and expanding the expertise of local race managers and volunteers. Two pilot events will test the new format: NBYA Junior Race Week and Rochester (NY) Junior Olympic Festival.

Objectives of the New Model

  • Run a high quality, regional youth clinic and regatta concurrently.
  • Provide an expanded learning opportunity for sailors, race managers and volunteers.
  • Provide coaches and instructors a professional development opportunity — to be mentored by high level master coaches.
  • Improve the overall quality of sailors, coaches and volunteers.
  • Create a sustainable model for future JO events.

Upcoming Events

Oct 4-5 USA Junior Olympic Festival,
Clearwater Community Sailing Center, FL
Classes invited: Green Fleet Opti & C420
Registration
Oct 11-12 USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival – Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, Holland, MI
Classes invited: C420 & High School 420, Optimist, Laser, Radial
NOR & Registration
Oct 18-19 USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival – River Romp, Edison Sailing Center, Ft Myers, FL  Event website
Dec 6-7 USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival
US Sailing Center Martin County, Jensen Beach, FL
Dec 26-30 USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival – Orange Bowl Intl Youth Regatta
Coral Reef YC, Coconut Grove SC, US Sailing Center, Miami, FL
Registration open
Caps in each fleet

Junior Olympic Program Goals

  • Engage young people in the excitement of sailing
  • Encourage young sailors to enjoy racing
  • Increase participation locally, regionally and nationally through USA Junior Olympic Festivals
  • Improve skills of young sailors through training
  • Define a path for achievement from an early age to adulthood

The Junior Olympic Movement

Sailing is only one of the many sports that offer Junior Olympic programs. Junior Olympic competition is coordinated by the National Governing Bodies (NGB) of each sport and by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). The first JO programs date back to the late 1970s and some 40 NGBs in the United States run JO programs or events today. Junior Olympics come under the umbrella of the Olympic movement, for each NGB is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

JO Hosts Needed

US Sailing is expanding its JO event schedule. Perhaps you can bring the Junior Olympics to your area. A JO event can be the spark that ignites your youth sailing program. If your club has the expertise to host a youth regatta that incorporates competition, education and fun, please contact Lee Parks at leeparks@ussailing.org or 401.683.0800 x650. More information about hosting an event in the JO Events Manual.