Greg Bertish ‘Optimist of the Month’ – February 2018

In April 2016 Greg Bertish sailed an 8 foot Children’s Optimist dinghy around the Cape of Storms. He crossed False Bay, rounded Cape Point and headed for Langebaan Lagoon on the wild West Coast. His 200-kilometre journey matched the 200 days he had spent in hospital fighting life-threatening heart infections.

He raised R300 000 towards a new Intensive Care Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Greg hopes this journey of a REAL Little Optimist and his Children’s book about a little believer with a HUGE heart,will help teach kids that being small, sick, poor or different is OK. And prove that they too can survive and thrive. His  story will inspire kids and the world to believe in themselves, get better, be better and follow their passions and dreams.

Greg Bertish is a big wave surfer and a South African Champion Lifesaver and Stand Up Paddle Boarder.

He is an ambassador for the Children’s Hospital Trust and the National Sea Rescue Institute,and founder of the Shark Spotter Program. He has helped raise over R2 million for these charities to date.

He has achieved all of this as a Multiple Heart surgery survivor and patient. He continues to promote conservation, water safety, healthy living and optimism.

He is supported and empowered by Warwick Wealth, to go out there and Just Do Good!

Thank you for choosing an Optimist in your endevour to make a difference. We salute you!

Be an Optimist & Never Ever Give Up!

The Little Optimist

Calvin Gibbs ‘Optimist of the Month’ – January 2018

Calvin started his sailing career at Imperial Yacht Club with a learn to sail course in O9ers along with a bunch of friends. 6 months later Calvin and his school friend, Mathew Thorburn, took part in the Hermanus Points Series regatta as Optmist B fleeters. The bug had bitten and soon he had his own Oppie and was sailing regularly at IYC. He developed steadily over the next year taking part in club sailing and any training camps that were on offer. IYC’s regular club sailing provided plenty of opportunity to get racing experience, time on the water, and make friends at the club.

The quest to learn and refine his skills as a youth athlete included taking part in any and every training program on offer. Taking part in his first Optimist African Championships in Tanzania was a very high learning curve and which provided a good platform to Optimist Worlds. He completed his Optimist career with Oppie Worlds at Lake Garda, Italy, and top African at Optimist Africans at Langabaan.

Laser was a natural progression as it provided the opportunity to compete in a class with a high level of sailing and international exposure. While he started off in 4.7, he hit a sudden growth spurt and within a year he was on Radial. The competition was (and always is) high in the Laser class and provided the opportunity to compete with adults as well as youth. The encouragement and passing down of knowledge by the adult Laser sailors played a significant part in his growth as a youth sailor.

The timing of Roger coming back from Rio Olympics and embarking on his program of giving back to sailing was fortunate. Calvin joined the RaceAhead squad and included taking part in Sonnet Nationals and an 8 week campaign of 4 top European Regattas including Laser Radial Youth Worlds and Laser Radial Open Worlds.

RaceAhead were appointed by South African Sailing as the coaching and management team for the 2017 Youth Worlds and put together an intense training program leading up to the Youth Worlds. The success at the Youth Worlds can largely be attributed to the success of the RaceAhead 8 week pre event training program with improvement in Calvin’s regatta ranking in European campaign from approx top 35% to within top 5 at Youth Worlds.

The 4th place at the World Sailing Youth worlds is the next highest place by a South African after Gareth Blanckenberg’s win in 1998, and amazingly, both are members of Imperial Yacht Club and went to Wynberg Boys’ High.

Bryan Carstens ‘Optimist of the Month’ – December 2017

Bryan Carstens, 13, is rapidly emerging in the Optimist Class.

He has this year represented South Africa in the 2017 Optimist African Championship in Montazah, Alexandria. Egypt. He competed against sailors from Algeria, Morocco, Angola, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, UAE, and of course Egypt, finishing 17th and first of the South African Team.

Bryan Carstens RSA 1367 competing in the African Optimist Championships sailed out of Alexandria, Egypt in 2017.

Bryan is a quiet and systematic sailor who has worked hard to improve his technical and tactic skills.

He is a very polite and fair competitor who gets along well with the Optimist National Team and with all sailors.

Bryan (second from left) and Team South Africa at the African Optimist Championships 2017.

We congratulate Bryan for the past season and wish him all the best for the one coming!

Karl Hofmeyr ‘Optimist of the Month’ – August 2017

Karl has improved beyond any expectation since the Youth Nationals in Theewaterskloof in December, qualifying for the World Championship in April in Mossel Bay.

He is a very funny companion who immediately bonded with the rest of the worlds team due to his friendly personality.

He was able to focus on intense training in such a short time due to the fact he has been swimming competitively at high levels for many years and his training ethic is impeccable.

Karl sails for Milnerton Aquatic Club and he is part of a family very involved in aquatic sports. His trip to Thailand will be his first international event.

Jared Tyler ‘Optimist of the Month’- July 2017

At age 11 Jared is possibly the youngest sailor to have represented South Africa in an International Regatta. His Optimist sailing has improved drastically over the three years that he has been sailing to the point that he is on his way to Worlds in Thailand.
Not only is he hoping to place well for the country but he is hoping to also place well in the team.
In addition Jared is training hard on a L26 Keel boat in preparation for the Lipton Cup Regatta taking place in August this year. Jared has proven to be a strong crew member on the bow of the boat – a difficult role to play when racing hard.
He is a very young sailor doing really well and has a promising future in sailing ahead of him.