National Calendar of Events
Gavin Muller gave a great insight in his post yesterday about why kids should learn to sail their own boat. I completely agree with him but would like to add to it the other lessons it teaches – grit, humility and self-reliance.
I am forever awed by the baby duck in the back of the race that comes across the finish line far after the rest of the fleet. They are usually dripping wet, cheeks streaked with silent tears and fingers fumbling with the mainsheet and tiller. They are only 8 or 9 but have assumed a huge responsibility when they left shore alone and they know it. But it’s when I see that set jaw and determined gaze that it always gets me.
These are the baby ducks that struggle to make it back to the starting line in time to do it all again – another hour long race alone in their boat. When I see them go past the second and third time is when I realize that I have just met a freshly minted sailor and a kid that won’t be broken on or off the water.
No kid starts at the front of the fleet and many may never get there but it’s their time in the back of the fleet that makes them a sailor – the rest is just icing.
Is there a single greater thing you can teach an 8, 9, or 10-year old than to sail solo? Name me another activity that teaches geometry, mechanics, and physics while showing a small child that the mind always matters more than brute strength, and that size and gender are irrelevant to success. A sport where the playing field of wind and water mutates with every race to remind them that nature is ever-dynamic – yet enforces rules of right-of-way, sportsmanship, and marine safety. Lessons that train them to assemble complex sails and rigging, wash their own clothes, and not panic when capsizing. Lessons that teach them to trust their judgment, take responsibility for their decisions and not to blame anyone/anything else other than themselves. A lifestyle that begins with a love for the water, and ends with a wizard-like ability to read its secret language of waves, clouds, currents and the predictable movement of a boat. Sailing is a way of seeing the world without a digital screen.
Wesley Hsu – Thailand
Notice is hereby given of the Optimist Class Association of South Africa
Annual General Meeting 2020
to be held via Zoom 22 February 2021 @ 6:30pm. Zoom Link
Proposals and nominations received by the 8th February 2021 will be tabled.
Nominations and Proposals for the Agenda
Please submit your Nominations for the following positions on the committee:
President, Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary.
The deadline for these nominations and the items to be included in the Agenda is the 8th of February 2021.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.
083 626 7597
- Notice to convene the meeting
- Welcome and Apologies
- Confirmation of the minutes of the 2019 AGM – 2019 AGM Minutes
- Chairman’s Report
- Treasurer’s report
- 2020 World’s report
- 2020 European’s Report
- 2020 African’s report
Election of the 2021 Office bearer’s:
Regional reps introduced
Regional reports – NR, KZN, EC, WC
- 2021 IODA World Championships
- 2021 IODA African Championships
Background photograph by Karen Slater