UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: FLASHBACK: Optimists heading in on the eve of the 2011 Opti Rumble

Saturday, July 15, 2017

FLASHBACK: Optimists heading in on the eve of the 2011 Opti Rumble










At Ye Yacht Yard Southport, CT
The Optimist is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by children up to the age of 15. Nowadays boats are usually made of fiber reinforced plastic, although wooden boats are still built.
It is one of the most popular sailing dinghies in the world, with over 130,000 boats officially registered with the class and many more built but never registered.
The Optimist is recognized as an International Class by the International Sailing Federation.
The Optimist was designed in 1947 by American Clark Mills. The Soap-box Derby program is sponsored by Optimist International service club to encourage father/son construction of gravity powered cars for down-hill competition. Clearwater has no hills so Mills designed a simple pram that could be built from a single sheet of plywood, and donated the plan to the Optimists. The design was slightly modified and introduced to Europe by the Dane, Axel Damsgaard, and spread outwards across Europe from Scandinavia. The design was standardized in 1960 and became a strict one-design in 1995.
The International Optimist is sailed in over 100 countries by over 160,000 skippers and it is only one of two yachts approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16. At the Beijing Olympics, 85% of medal winning skippers were former Optimist dinghy sailors.
The Optimist was designed in 1947 by American Clark Mills.

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