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An optimist is a perfect boat to learn to sail and have fun in yet can extend to being in a big competitive event with 300+ boats.


It is a boat that you can start sailing as a beginner, or compete as an experienced sailor. Optimists are made of wood, plastic or glass fibre and anyone can sail one up to about 50kg body weight. It is a RYA recognised junior class, up to age 15 and can be very competitive and great fun.

There are lots of opportunities to sail and improve your sailing in an optimist:

  • You can do a level 1 and 2 sailing course at SHSC.
  • Then you can join Junior Squad -see junior/youth section
  • You can come along to MOT events - (Midland Oppie Training); this gives you training over the winter and events through the summer season often with extra training.
  • You can try for a place in the RYA zone squads to give you 6 weekends of training with good coaches through the winter. -See RYA website

From there you can try for a place in the intermediate or national squads. There are some local open meetings, and all sailors can sail at major events; there is a regatta fleet for the younger sailors and those new to sailing, and a main fleet for the more competitive people who have had some big event experience.