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training picture

Optimist The International Optimist is sailed by over 150,000 sailors in 110 countries. For beginners, it is easily managed ashore and afloat, safe and very manoeuvrable. For parents, boats are readily available second-hand in (relatively) robust and low-maintenance plastic for up to £1,000. Children make sailing friends that they may sail with or against throughout their lives. They learn quickly, and as they do will be able to sail their Optimist at events further afield – first at clubs in the region, then across the country, and maybe even across the world. The fact that 85% of the boat skippers at the last Olympics had sailed Oppies shows what a great boat it is in which to develop sailing skills.

Bowmoor Sailing Club runs a very successful coaching programme to support members’ children from the age of about 7, and has one of the largest Optimist flotillas in the UK. In terms of results (measured over the years by squad places and results in national and international competition), the Bowmoor Flotilla has also been one of the most successful. All this has been achieved as a result of the Club’s support and the efforts put in by parents to all aspects of the training programme.

The Flotilla is open to all Club members with children from 7 to 15 who have exclusive use of their own Optimist dinghy. The Club owns a number of plastic training Optibats which are available for children to use on Club training programmes and they can be hired by members to do basic follow-on coaching.  However, we have found that it is much better that young sailors have their own boat from a very early stage as they develop their skills far quicker in a proper Optimist dinghy. These are readily available, often from within the club, as children upgrade or outgrow their Optimists.

The Flotilla is run as a self-help group to encourage the children with their sailing, and to provide guidance and training to help their improvement. Parents volunteer their time to organise and run the training, man safety boats and provide onshore help with launching and recovery. It is not a sailing school, and we do not teach children to sail; what we do offer is the assistance and opportunity, with parental support, to practice and improve under guidance.  We do use experienced Optimist coaches to deliver the coaching programme.

A full description of the current coaching programme can be found at: http://www.bowmoor.co.uk/wp-2013/?page_id=58

Please e-mail any enquiries to optimist@bowmoor.co.uk

Useful links:
Optimist Class on Yachts and Yachting
Optimist UK – http://www.optimistsailing.org.uk
Optimist International – www.optiworld.org


The Optimist South West Championships

The Optimist South West Championships/Bowmoor Open 2013 took place on the 14th and 15th
September 2013, it included over 40 sailors in a head to head series of races spread out
over 2 days. There was some excellent competitive sailing with the final races going to
the wire to decide the winner.

Oppy Camp 2013