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6 Seasons

The Optimist was designed in 1947 by American Clark Mills at the request of the Clearwater Florida Optimist service club following a proposal by Major Clifford McKay to offer low-cost sailing for young people. The Optimist Club ran a soap box derby, but wanted more than a single-day event. Thus they were looking for a low-cost equivalent for sailing. He designed a simple pram that could be built from two 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood, and donated the plan to the Optimists. The design was slightly modified and introduced to Europe by Axel Damgaard, and spread outwards across Europe from Scandinavia.

The design was standardised in 1960 and became a strict One-Design in 1995.

The Optimist is sailed in over 120 countries and it is one of only two yachts approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16.

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  • 36th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting

    Episode 1

    A sunny conclusion for the 36th edition of the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting, an international event which broke the overall record of 1,374 participants, coming from 33 countries. After three days of unstable weather and light breeze, on the final day of the event organized by Fraglia Vela Riva it...

  • Whitsun Regatta 2018 - Hayling Island - Day Two

    Episode 2

    Lighter conditions at the Whitsun Regatta at Hayling Island Sailing Club after thunderstorms lit up the sky over night. Resounding success for the club and all the sailors with the sun back out and plenty of smiles.

    Video Producer: VR Sport Media

  • Samui Regatta 2018 - Opening Weekend and Youth Dinghy Challenge

    Episode 3

    Start of the 17th Samui Regatta at the Chaweng Beach, with a full weekend of dinghy race action as young sailors from around Thailand battled it out for the winners podium. The regatta was hosted once again by Centara Grand Beach Resort which provided the backdrop for the official opening party. ...

  • 2018 Optimist British National and Open Championship - Day One

    Episode 4

    The start of the qualifiers for the huge international Optimist fleet in Pwllheli, Wales. It turned out to be a long day on the water, six hours, with just a start, beat and downwind leg before abandonment. Hardy sailors these Oppies!

    Video Producer: VR Sport Media

  • 2018 Optimist British National and Open Championship - Day Two

    Episode 5

    Day Two of the UK Optimist Nationals 2018 hosted by Plas Heli in North Wales. "Choppy and light winds" - classic for the region if it's not blowing old boots! Three races completed and many smiles or frowns with plenty of stories to tell the coaches and support crews (parents).

    Video Producer...

  • 2018 Optimist British National and Open Championship - Day Three

    Episode 6

    Meet the Regatta Fleet - the very young guns competing at the 2018 Optimist British Nationals. On water coaching, having fun with their friends makes for a great introduction to big fleet racing.

    Video Producer: VR Sport Media

  • 2018 Optimist British National and Open Championship - Day Four

    Episode 7

    Team Racing and The Optimist Family - serious business for both... The sun and wind arrived for the mid week team racing battles and stunning boat with tactical expertise shown by the young sailors - where will they be in 20 years time?

    Video Producer: VR Sport Media

  • German Optimist Championship 2018 - Circolo Vela Arco

    Episode 8

    Circolo Vela Arco hosted the German Optimist fleet on Lake Garda with the iconic stunning background for the sailors.

    Video Producer: Emilio Santinelli

  • Ora Cup Ora 2018 - Optimists out in force on Lake Garda

    Episode 9

    Circolo Vela Arco hosted the Ora Cup Ora 2018 with hundreds of Optimists racing on Lake Garda.

    Video Producer: Emilio Santinelli