Optimist sailing has gotten a whole lot more serious since I was doing it. There were 317 boats at the US Nationals in 2005 and 268 boats at the New England Championships. I have also heard that it is now very unusual for any sailors to show up at a regatta without being part of a team. These teams have coach boats on the water to support the young sailors. One of these teams is FAST; a group of Opti sailors from CT, RI and MA. They recently had a training session in Newport where the conditions were probably more extreme than most adult frostbiting sailors would be comfortable in; 24 degrees and 20-34 knots. Some great photos showed up on the Sailing Anarchy main page.