R.I.O.T Program

2020 R.I.O.T. Spring Program

R.I.O.T. - Rhode Island Opti Team

The RIOT Program has ended for 2020. More to come in 2021! Check our Fall Race Training page for more Optimist training opportunities!

Sail Newport R.I.O.T. Practices

With a 7:1 sailor to coach ratio, all sailors will get lots of attention and coaching feedback. Our coaching staff includes:

  • Nick Ewenson
  • Joakim Karlsen
  • Lisa Downey
  • Caden Buckley
  • Rich Feeney
  • Meg Myles and more.

Opti sailors will learn:

  • Boat handling techniques
  • Tactics and strategy
  • Regatta preparation and participation management
  • Conditioning and more

Practices are held at the Sail Newport Sailing Center, in Fort Adams State Park.

Training is offered for experienced optimist sailors with at least some green fleet regatta experience. The practice days are more structured and rigorous than a typical summer program schedule. While fun is a critical component of the racing program, we emphasize learning new skills, challenging the sailor, and developing a commitment to the sport.

Skill groups are organized to enable us to work most efficiently on moving from Green fleet to Team Trials Qualified. Most practices have portions in smaller skill groups and combined group training as well.

Green Fleet is not offered in the Spring
Champ Silver

Minimum age is 10 years old.

  • Strong green fleet and champ fleet sailors
  • Experience sailing in local and possibly regional regattas
  • Will spend quality time working on technical skills
  • Aspires to sail national-level events in 2020
Champ Gold

Minimum age is 10 years old.

  • Not TTQ yet
  • Typically two seasons of Champ Fleet experience, and regional regatta experience
  • Aspires to sail national-level events in 2020
  • Aspires to qualify for Team Trials
  • Qualified for Team Trials/or have been qualified in the past
  • Trying to qualify for national team and International regattas

We will practice in small groups, focusing on technical skills and strategy in the morning, with larger group racing drills in the afternoons.

Sailors are required to wear gear appropriate for what can be the coldest sailing season of the year. Appropriate dry-suits or wetsuits may be required for the Spring season. PFDs must be US Coast Guard approved!

Sail Newport’s Youth Challenge on June 13th & 14th will be RIOT’s only regatta this spring.

Saturdays and Sundays from June 6th through the Sail Newport Youth Challenge that concludes on June 28th.

Sailors must be listed on the Team Snap practice/regatta schedule a minimum of five days in advance in order to attend a given practice/regatta. Sailors must also register and pay before sailing through the online link at the top of this page. While efforts will be made to accommodate last-minute requests for changes to selected dates, it is not guaranteed and there are no refunds for missed or unused days. Purchased practices do not roll over into following seasons or other Sail Newport programming.


Sail Newport has a limited number of charters available. Contact Nick Ewenson to reserve.

Any participating sailor will be able to leave their boat/spars/blades and dolly at Sail Newport – storage is included during the time a sailor is signed-up to participate.

Sail Newport is committed to providing the opportunity for people to participate in sailing programs regardless of economic status. Admittance to all programs is “need-blind,” and should you decide to apply for Financial Aid, that will not be a factor in our decision to enroll your child or children in a program.

Sail Newport Financial Aid guidelines

  1. It is a confidential process. Your information is not shared with any other entity.
  2. Participants who are awarded partial or full finanical assistance are expected to attend at least 75% of the class or program for which the assistance is awarded.
  3. For families who receive partial financial assistance, any balance due will be required to be paid at least 30 days prior to the start of the class/program.
  4. Sail Newport is a 501(c)3 not-profit organization and relies on volunteer support for many of its programs and events. Financial assistance recipients are encouraged to support Sail Newport through volunteer hours. To volunteer, please visit our volunteer page.

How to apply for Financial Aid

During the registration process for RIOT, you will be given the option to:

  • Pay in full
  • Apply for Financial Aid (When choosing this option, you will be taken to a simple and confidential form.)

Financial Awards

  • Will be made within 2-3 weeks of your application.
  • You will receive a confidential letter in the mail from Brad Read, Executive Director, outlining any award and any partial program fees that will be due.

Again, your child’s participation in this program will not be reliant on whether or not you apply for financial aid. You have our commitment on that!

If you have questions about Financial Aid please email Brad Read, Executive Director or call (401) 846-1983.

All messaging and announcements will be made through TeamSnap. Once a sailor is registered and the program fee is paid, parents will receive an invitation to join TeamSnap.

Visit the R.I.O.T. Facebook page.

Register now

Have questions?

Contact Nick Ewenson, Race Program Manager

Phone: (401) 846-1983
Email: nick.ewenson@sailnewport.org