The International OptimistHistory The Optimist was designed by Clark Mills in Clearwater, Florida in 1947 and introduced with modifications to Europe in the 1950s. The first World Championship was held in England in 1962. The International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) was formed in 1965 and was recog- nised by the IYRU, now the ISAF, as an International Class in 1974 on the recommendation of 14 countries on four continents. In 1995 the hull was restored to a strict one-design and in 2004 the foils were similarly controlled.Objectives: “To provide racing for young people at low cost” (Class Rule 1.1) “To offer a high standard of international competitive sailing” (ISAF Regulation 26.1) “To see that Class rules are observed” (IODA Articles 2b) “To co-ordinate youth work between member countries” (IODA Articles 2b)In 2006• Over 800 sailors from 78 countries attended IODA continental championships, thousands attended international regattas and tens of thousands national or regional events. Charter boats are available at all IODA and many other events. The lowest price ex-factory is now under USD1,250 ready to sail.• The quality of racing was shown by the performance of immediate ex-Optimist sailors in youth boats. Ten of the twelve Laser and 420 medal-winning helms at the ISAF World Youth Championship were former Optimist sailors.• Strict one-design means that 28 builders in 21 countries will produce around 4,000 boats of identical specification and speed. Nearly 50% of sailors at this year’s Europeans sailed a boat made in their own or a neighbouring country.• An active development programme has assisted six countries to acquire 66 Optimists to create or expand fleets, and 110 countries are now members of IODA.
Travel sells sailing Exotic locationsWhatever the other problems ofadult sailing the charter holidaybusiness is booming.So it is in the Optimist.Schooldays may mean that it’sdark at 1600 hrs and you have tobreak the ice to go sailing. Butwhen the vacations come, sailingin the sun is a lot more fun. Easy charterBecause the Optimist is so strictlyone-design and because thebuilders know there is a suremarket afterwards, charter iseasy to arrange. With foils andspars now standardised all youneed to take with you is your sail.And airfares get cheaper everyyear.If your club is well-organised Part of a teammaybe the coach will make up agroup to go some great venue. Ifnot maybe some noble parent willlead the team. Your parents maywant to come: if not they are oldenough to be allowed away ontheir own!Destinations read like a tracelbrochure. Next year if you makean official team you may be goingto Sardinia, Rio, Athens, Bali or Parents can come tooMexico. If you don’t, how aboutDubai, Lake Garda, theCaribbean, Singapore, Melbourne. . . .?And don’t forget to bring backthe T-shirt to show what you didin your holidays.
Girls Girls at the top The victory of Tina Lutz in last year’s Worlds was the “icing on the cake” for a history of improvement in the quality of girls’ sailing in the Optimist. For the first time there were four girls in the top 20 and they were from three different continents. More girls qualify An increasing number of girls qualify for their countries’ Worlds team. On the earliest full WorldsPercentage of girls in the Worlds fleet scoresheet we have (1981) there were just five girls, 4% 20% of the fleet of 118 sailors. In the last seven years that per- 15% centage has never fallen below 10% 14% and in 2004 it reached a record of 20%. 5% In 35 of the 52 countries at ? least one girl qualified. 81 86 91 96 01 05 Better results When Denise Lyttle (IRL) Place of the best girl came 14th in 1981 her result 1 was regarded as outstanding 5 and only two other girls bet- 10 tered it in the next nine years. 15 In the most recent nine years 20 there has been a girl in the top 25 14 in every year but one. 30 35 40 From a wider world 81 86 91 96 01 05 Increasingly many of these top results have come from non- European sailors. In 1999 Roberta Borges (BRA) became the first of them to take girls’ gold. Two years later Xu Lijia (CHN) matched that performance and retained the title the following year. Most recently Daniela Zimmermann (PER), Jovina Choo (SIN) and Victoria Travascio (ARG) have all achieved top 20 places. Siren Sundby and Lisa Westerhof - two previous girls’winners
DevelopmentSailing for a wider worldIODA has more than doubled the number of member national associations over the last fifteen yearsand is committed to bringing the benefits of sailing to young people worldwide. It offers limited finan-cial aid to “newer countries”.Free boats - the “6 for 5” schemeCountries seeking to start or enlarge Optimist fleets can applyfor one free boat for every five bought. Over the last five yearsmore than 220 Optimists in twenty five countries have beenacquired under this scheme.The boats may be bought from any approved builder and are ownedby an association, club or other ‘not for profit’ organisation. Theymust be available to the children of non-sailors.In the last twelve months beneficiaries have included the CookIslands and Papua New Guinea (shown at right), Libya to helpfound new sailing centres, Mauritius, Bulgaria and the FaroeIslands in the North Atlantic.As a variation, countries which build batches of wood/epoxyOptimists can receive free spars, sails and fittings. “6 for 5” Scheme Faroe I. Serbia Caribbean etc. Bulgaria Bahamas Tunisia South Pacific Barbados Libya Cook I. Dominican R Papua NG El Salvador Sri Lanka Samoa Neth. Antilles Solomon I. Nicaragua Uganda Vanuatu St. Vincent Kenya St. Lucia Angola Tanzania Trinidad MauritiusThe effectThere is always a question over the long-term effect of develop-ment projects.In several of the countries the introduction of a few Optimists hasrapidly led to fleets of over 50 boats. It is easier to find sponsors andstate support for established projects. Of the 25 countries whichhave received “6 for 5” grants in the past five years 19 have alreadystarted to participate in international regattas and, as the sailors ageout, fleets of Lasers and other “follow-on” boats are being added.and also . . . .Grants are also available for instructor-training and travel toregattas. Details at: www.optiworld.org/ioda-develop.html
The Optimist World Members (former members in italics) 110 • • Attended the IODA World Championship 2005 Attended an IODA Continental Championship 2006 Built GRP Optimists 2005-2006 52 78 21North America $ Received Development Grants 2004-2006 20 AsiaAnguilla $ BahrainBarbados • Europe Chin. Taipei • • •BahamasBermuda • • $ Andorra • • • Italy • • • • China Hong Kong • • • Austria LatviaBr. Virgin I.Canada • • Belarus • • Lithuania • India Indonesia • • • Belgium MaltaCubaDominican Rep. • • $ Bulgaria Croatia • • • • $ Monaco Netherlands • • • Japan Korea •El SalvadorG. Cayman $ Cyprus • • Norway • • • • Kuwait Kyrghyzstan • • Czech Rep. PolandGrenadaGuatemala $ Denmark • • • • Portugal • • Malaysia Myanmar • • • Estonia RomaniaMexicoNeth. Antilles • • $ Finland • • • • Russia • Pakistan Philippines • • France San MarinoNicaraguaPuerto Rico • • Germany • • Serbia/M. • • • • $ Qatar Singapore • • • Georgia SlovakiaSt. LuciaSt. Vincent $ Great Britain • • • • Slovenia • • • • Sri Lanka Thailand • $ • • Greece SpainTrinidad & T.U.S.A. • • Hungary • • Sweden • • • • U.A.Emirates • • Iceland SwitzerlandU.S. Virgin I. Ireland Israel • • • Turkey Ukraine • • Oceania Am. SamoaSouth AmericaArgentina • • Australia • • •Brasil • • Africa • • Cook Islands Fiji • $ $ • •Colombia Algeria SeychellesChileEcuador • • • • Angola Egypt • S. Africa Tanzania • • • $ New Zealand Papua N.G. • $Paraguay • • Kenya Tunisia • Samoa Solomon Is. $ $ • •Peru Libya $ UgandaUruguayVenezuela • • • • $ Mauritius Morocco • Zimbabwe • Tahiti Vanuatu $
IODA ContinentalIODA European Championship BoysWorkum, Holland. 231 sailors from 42 countries Open Euro 1. Theofanis Kavvas Greece 1 2. Tadeusz Kubiak Poland 2 3. Vassilis Papoutsoglou Greece 3 4. Pedro Carlucci da Luz Brasil 5. Leif Ole Dreyer Germany 4 6. Carl-Fredrik Fock Sweden 5 7. Jes Lyhne Bonde Denmark 6 8. Simon Meister Austria 7 9. Gustav Pettersson Sweden 8 10. Juan Calvo Spain 9 Girls 1. Elia Borrego Spain 1 2. Ewa Ilska Poland 2 3. Sara Piasecka Poland 3 4. Emma Oljelund Sweden 4 5. Maria Voulgaraki Greece 5 6. Amalia Chalaiou Greece 6 7. Lara Vladau Austria 7 8. Julia Gross Sweden 8 9. Gil Cohen Israel 9 10. Tomoyo Wakabayashi JapanIODA African Championship Over-all Open AfroAlexandria, Egypt. 44 sailors from 11 countries 1. Alexandre Massard Switzerland 2. Ahmed Ahmed Ragab Egypt 1 3. Ashwynn Daniels S. Africa 2 4. Timothy Manley S. Africa 3 5. Zianni Wassim Algeria 4 6. Benoval Mohamed Algeria 5 7. Cherkit Merziane Algeria 6 8. Mohamed Ziad El Bokl Egypt 7 9. Antoine Gerard Mauritius 8 10. Cherif Sahraoui Yannis Algeria 9 Girls 1. Dewi Couvert Netherlands 2. Mariem Zribi Tunisia 1 3. Seddour Merieiue Algeria 2 4. Alison Maher Belgium 5. Jenny Robertson S. Africa 3 Team Racing 1. Algeria 2. Egypt 3. South AfricaIODA South American Championship Over-allCartagena, Colombia 194 sailors from 18 countries Open. S. Am 1. Timothy Seet Singapore 2. Sean Lee Singapore 3. Rufina Tan Malaysia ◊ 4. Jonathan Martinetti Ecuador 1 5. Edgar Diminich Ecuador 2 6. Faizani bin Yahaya Malaysia 7. Manfredo Finch Uruguay 3 8. Griselda Khng Singapore ◊ 9. Tomas Dietrich Argentina 4 10. Alejo Morales Uruguay 5 S. American Girls 1. Arianna Villena Ecuador 2. Kamilla Sabogal Ecuador 3. Maria José Cucalón Ecuador Team Racing 1. Ecuador 1 2. Argentina 2 3. Ecuador 2
Championships 2006 IODA North American Championship Over-all Ponce, Puerto Rico 189 sailors from 22 countries 1. Sean Lee Singapore 2. Victor Díaz de Leon Venezuela 3. Iván Aponte Puerto Rico 4. Taylor Lutz U.S.A. 5. Alejo Morales Uruguay 6. Alexander Zimmermann Peru 7. Arianna Villena Ecuador ◊ 8. Alex Maloney N. Zealand ◊ 9. Stephanie Zimmermann Peru ◊ 10. George Kool New Zealand N. Americans 1. Iván Aponte Puerto Rico 2. Taylor Lutz U.S.A. 3. Diego Reyes Mexico 4. James Leighton Trinidad 5. George Kutschenreuter U.S.A. N. American Girls 1. Marissa Lihan U.S.A. 2. Haley Powell Bermuda 3. Marlena Fauer U.S.A. Team Racing 1. Peru 2. Singapore 3. Argentina IODA Asian Championship Over-all Fulung, Chinese Taipei. 63 sailors from 14 countries 1. Sean Lee Singapore 2. Griselda Khng Singapore ◊ 3. Chuancheng Zhou China 4. Caho Gui China 5. Rufina Tan Malaysia ◊ 6. Wei Ni China 7. Lihua Zhang China 8. Jing Zhou China 9. Faizani bin Yahaya Malaysia 10. Timothy Seet Singapore Girls 1. Griselda Khng Singapore 2. Rufina Tan Malaysia 3. Lihua Zhang China 4. Jing Zhou China 5. Benjamas Poonpat Thailand Team Racing 1. China 2. Singapore 3. Malaysia IODA Oceanian Championship Over-all Aitutaki, Cook Islands 26 sailors from 7 countries 1. Nicholas Porée France* 2. George Lane New Zealand 3. Laszlo Horvath France* 4. Vincent Labroy Tahiti 5. Emanuel Mousset Tahiti 6. Hugo Oudart Tahiti 7. Roch della Patrona France* 8. Samantha Johnson Cook Islands ◊ 9. Henry Wilkinson New Zealand 10. Helena Williams Cook Islands ◊ Team Racing 1. Tahiti 2. France* 3. Cook Islands * = New Caledonia
Some Regattas Christmas Dubai Junior Regatta, U.A.E.No Grand Prix! Trofeo Ciutat de Palma, Spain 22-29 January 3-7 December 91 Sailors from 16 countries 284 Sailors from 12 countries 1. Leonardo Dubbini (ITA)The aim in the Optimist is 1. Elia Borrego (ESP) ◊ 2. Mathias Svendsen (DEN)to give as many young peo- 2. Diego Botin (ESP) 3. Jes Lyhne Bonde (DEN)ple as possible the chance to 3. Baltazar Montaner (ESP) KABB International, Spainsail internationally. 17-19 February St. Nicholas Race, Croatia 8-11 December 188 Sailors from 20 countriesSo, unlike later sailing and 258 Sailors from 11 countries 1. Jolbert van Dijk (NED)indeed many other sports at 1. Matea Senkik (CRO) ◊ 2. Carl Strombeck (SWE) 2. Lovre Perhat (CRO) 3. Giles Cleeren (BEL)this age, there is no ranklist, 3. Kasia Kurtin (CRO) ◊Grand Prix or circuit in the EasterOptimist Class. Malta Euromed, MaltaMany parents (and even 17-20 December Optispring, Belgiummore schoolteachers!) would 67 Sailors from 12 countries 8-9 April 1. Okan Arin (TUR) 158 Sailors from 10 countriesnot accept that you have to 2. Gil Cohen,(ISR) ◊go to certain events on a 1. Jolbert van Dijk (NED) 3. Gabriel Pace (MLT) 2. Carl Strombeck (SWE)certain dates. 3. Giles Cleeren (BEL) XL Capital BermudaMost regattas take place in 18-21 December Lake Garda Meeting, Italy 53 Sailors from 12 countries 13-16 Aprilschool vacations. Around 1. Magnus Kaeldsø (DEN)1,000 sailors participate in 661 Sailors from 21 countries 2. Joshua Greenslade (BER) 1. Leonardo Dubbini (ITA)international events in 3. Mathias Svendson (DEN) 2. Augusto Poropat (ITA)December, 1,300 in the four 3. Mathias Svendsen (DEN) Al Kharafi Regatta, Kuwaitgreat Easter regattas and 19-23 Decemberunknown thousands in July/ Portoroz Regatta, Slovenia 20 Sailors from 7 countries 13-16 AprilAugust. 1. Mohamed Shaiful (MAS) 236 Sailors from 9 countries 2. Mohamed Azrul (MAS) 1. Jakob Bozic (SLO)Many events are primarily 3. Ahmed Ragab (EGY) 2. Titto Rodda (ITA)holidays with club friends 3. Rasi Bajons (AUT) Rioplatense, Argentinaor parents. But selection for 26-31 December Magic Marine Regatta, Hollanda national team is a major 70 Sailors from 4 countriesincentive so many national 1. Gastón Bisio (ARG) 2. Armando Zulian (ARG)associations pick lower- 3. Pablo Volker (ARG)ranked teams to give asmany sailors as possible the GHG S. Caribbean, Trinidadunforgettable chance to 26-31 December 27 Sailors from 6 countries“represent their country”. 1. Matthew Scott (TRI) 2. Anthony Alkins (TRI) 3. Wesley Scott (TRI) Orange Bowl, U.S.A. 27-30 December 215 Sailors from 11 countries 1. Will Haeger (USA) 2. Edgar Diminich (ECU) 3. Matthew Wefer (USA) Trofeo M. Campobasso, Italy 15-18 April 4-6 January 267 Sailors from 14 countries 177 Sailors from 14 countries 1. Herman Tomasgaard (SWE) 1. Fanis Kavas (GRE) 2. Phil Sparks (GBR) 2. Leonardo Dubbini (ITA) 3. Hampus Appelgren (SWE) 3. Matteo Ramian (ITA)GBR 3rd team at the French Nationals
Dutch Youth Regatta British Open Team Racing Events25-28 May Holland 5-11 August Great Britain359 Sailors from 16 countries 114 Sailors from 7 countries1. Julian Autenrieth (GER) 1. Phil Sparks (GBR) Team Racing is hugely popu-2. José Manuel Ruiz (ESP) 2. Aaron Smith (GBR) lar in the Optimist and is3. Mathias Svendsen (DEN) 3. James Grant (GBR) included in all continentalSailextreme Denmark Istanbul International Optimist championships except the3-6 June 13-18 August Turkey European.142 Sailors from 6 countries 102 Sailors from 6 countries Instead in Europe three1. Jes Lyhne Bonde (DEN) 1. Alican Mer Keles (TUR) European events have2. Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) ◊ 2. Okan Arin (TUR) developed, each with3. Hermann Tomasgaard (SWE) 3. Levent Ahiskali (TUR) different entry criteria.Scotiabank Caribbean Regatta Trofeo Marco Rizzotti Venice 11-14 May 20 teams from 13 countries 1. Italy 2. Slovenia 3. New York (USA) GrandOptical Champions’ Cup (inter-club championship) Ledro, Italy 22-26 August 14 teams from 14 countries 1. C.V. Bracciano (ITA) 2. Mos Ilawa (POL) 3. Kullavik KKK (SWE)23-25 June U.S.Virgin I. Irish Open215 Sailors from 11 countries 17-20 August Ireland1. Iván Aponte (PUR) 143 Sailors from 5 countries2. Raúl Ríos (PUR) 1. Jordan Factor (USA)3. Ian Barrows (ISV) 2. Declan Whitmyer (USA) 3. James Grant (GBR)Singapore Open21-25 June Singapore Swiss Open217 Sailors from 7 countries 24-27 August Switzerland1. Sean Lee (SIN) 215 Sailors from 11 countries2. Russell Kan (SIN) 1. .Julian Autenrieth (GER)3. Navee Thamsoontorn (THA) 2. Vincent Trachsel (SUI) 3. Stefano Zilioli (ITA)Flanders Youth Week Opti Team Cup1-5 July Belgium Balkan Championship Berlin 28-29 October 16 teams from 12 countries67 Sailors from 9 countries 1-7 September Turkey1. Phil Sparks (GBR) 62 Sailors from 6 countries (2005 results)2. Ian Storck (USA) Boys: 1. Italy3. Matthieu Van Schoote (BEL) 1. Fanis Kavas (GRE) 2. Poland 1 2. George Kavas (GRE) 3. DenmarkDanish Open 3. Keles Alican (TUR)6-9 July Denmark Girls:177 Sailors from 8 countries 1. Nefeli Papagianagu (GRE) IODA Calendar 20071. Mathias Svendsen (DEN) 2. Aimli Xaldau (GRE)2. Herman Tomasgaard (SWE) 3. Mairi Bulgaraki (GRE)3. Stig Steinfurth (DEN)) www.optiworld.org/ Polish Open ioda-07calendar.htmlBelgian Open 15-17 September Poland7-9 July Belgium 146 Sailors from 10 countries Each member country is236 Sailors from 9 countries 1. Julian Autenrieth (GER)1. Maite Colombie (BEL) 2. Carl Strombeck (SWE) allowed one entry plus any2. Sam Van Dormael (BEL) 3. Kacper Staniul (POL) regatta with at least five coun-3. Stijn Van Hoye (BEL) tries participating.
After the Optimist ISAF Youth WorldsThis year ten of the twelve medal-winning helms and four of the Gold:six crew in the Laser and 420 events at the Volvo ISAF Youth Sebastian Peri Brusa (ARG)***Worlds were former Optimist sailors. Santiago Masseroni (ARG)* Belinda Kerl (AUS)**420 Women Tina Mihelic (CRO)*** Luke Ramsay (CAN) Silver Agueda Suria (ESP) * Marta Martinez-Pons (ESP) Marit Bouwmeester (NED)* Emil Cedergardh (SWE) Bronze: Marcos Adler (BRA)** Bruno Leal Faria (BRA)** Sarah Tan (SIN)** Lim Tze Ting (SIN) Igor Lisovenko ((RUS)* *** Optimist Worlds medallist ** Optimist Worlds participant * Optimist ContinentalsSebastian Peri Brusa & Santiago Masseroni But also Gregory Douglas of Barbados who was by far the best of those representing the “newer countries”. His father, who was not a sailor, was one of the found- ing fathers of the Barbados Optimist fleet. And elsewhere Just a few of the other successes by recent ex- Optimist sailors included: Carl Evans (NZL)Gregory Douglas Reportedly the youngest ever winner of the 420 men’s Worlds, just one year out of Optimists Hannah Mills (GBR) 420 women’s world champion Xu Lijia (CHN) Laser Radial world champion Colin Cheng and Victoria Chan (SIN). Laser 4.7 world champions.Photos courtesy of World Wide Images (www.w-w-i.com)