Parent's Guide to Optimist sailing in South Africa
Welcome to the best and biggest junior sailing class in the world
The International Optimist dinghy is simply the best dinghy for kids to learn to sail and to learn to race tactically. The class is sailed in over a 110 countries, with over 150 000 sailors and is the only dinghy approved by World Sailing exclusively for sailors under the age of 16 years of age.
The Optimist is very stable, light weight and easily maneuvered, which allows younger sailors to learn about tactics and how to handle the sail without having to overcome physically demanding boat-handling requirements. Optimists provide young sailors with the many competitive racing opportunities at the local, national and international levels.
Although many clubs have Optimists for hire or as training boats, it is preferable that your child acquires their own boat. This will encourage them to take responsibility for their equipment, and each sailor will develop his or her own preferences in how they like their boat set up. Although the Optimist is a one-design it is quite configurable. A selection of second-hand boats can be found on your local club’s notice board, the Facebook page, Gumtree or right here on our website.
Download a guide to the Optimist class in South Africa, intended for parents who have had little previous contact with the class here.