QLD Youth Week Regatta 2012  

June 04 2012

The Queensland Youth Week Regatta is meer weeks away. Steven Bond from OziOpti will be on site all week with chartered boats and other boats transported on the oversized trailer plus the well loved van filled with spare parts.

Last year, there were over one hundred Optimists competing. Sailors from WA where very strong,  taking 1st place in both the girls' and boys'. Following the regatta will be a 3 day Australian Optimist Sailing Team training clinic giving members from all different states a chance to get together and spend some time on the water in a non-competitive atmosphere.

Any information regarding services of OziOpti, including Optimist charter, can be found at or by contacting Steven Bond on +613 9525 3788 or e-mail

The season ahead...  

September 01 2011

Season 2011-2012 is shaping up to be a big one for the Optimist class.

It kicks off with QLD Youth Championships in Yeppoon from 23rd-25th September followed by the NSW Youth Championships at Illawara from 1st-3rd October, the Pittwater Spring Cup (NSW) from 7th-9th October and QIODA Regatta River Championships (QLD) on 30th October.

The Optis will be racing in the 3 major international regattas on the east coast during November – Sail Sydney (1st-4th November), Sail Melbourne (6th-12th November) and Sail Brisbane (16th-19th November).

Nationals this season will be held at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly from 14th-21st January 2012 directly following the IODA Worlds in Napier, NZ.

After Nationals the fun continues with the ever-popular Lidgett Trophy at Davies Bay, VIC on 18th&19th February and then the state championships begin.

In 2012 the WA Championships will be held at Hillarys YC from 3rd-5th March, the Victorian Championships will be at Sorrento from 10th-12th March and the NSW Championships will be held at Middle Harbour YC on 31st March & 1st April.

Australian Opti sailors have been invited to many great international regattas that will be taking place over the next 12 months. The NZ North Island Championships are being held in October, the New Caledonia Nationals in December, 2011 IODA Worlds and Pre-Worlds Regattas in NZ over New Year, the IODA European Championships in July 2012 in Italy and the 2012 IODA Worlds in the Dominican Republic in July 2012.

Each of these events promises to be an excellent opportunity for our Aussie sailors to get some international experience, race against world-class sailors and have a whole lot of fun. The OziOpti team looks forward to seeing you out on the water this summer!

Queensland Youth Week  

July 09 2011

102 Optimists turned up to Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron last week to compete in the Queensland Youth Week Regatta. There were 82 boats in the open fleet and 20 in the green fleet. 1st place went to Chris Charwood from WA, 2nd to James McLennan from Victoria and 3rd to Jim Colley from NSW. 1st female was Nia Jerwood from WA. Steven Bond from OziOpti was on site all week with 22 chartered boats, 9 other boats transported on the oversized trailer plus the well loved van filled with spare parts.

Following the regatta was a 3 day Australian Optimist Sailing Team training clinic giving members from all different states a chance to get together and spend some time on the water in a non-competitive atmosphere. The next event for the team is the IODA Asian Championships to be held in Singapore from 22nd-30th July. We wish them all good luck for the regatta!

Full race results from QLD Youth Week are available at

For more information on chartering a boat from OziOpti please visit

Any other information regarding services of OziOpti can be found at or by contacting Steven Bond on +613 9525 3788 or e-mail

International Training Clinic  

September 18 2007

The 2008 International Optimist Dinghy Training Clinic will be conducted at Mornington Yacht Club on January 2 - 4 commencing with breakfast and physical training at 0830 each morning and finishing around 1800hrs with video debriefing.

In a huge coup for the Optimist Class, one of the worlds most respected and successful Optimist Coaches, Diego Figueroa of Peru will be the lead coach for the clinic.

Kristian Faeste of Norway will be involved with the clinic passing on his knowledge of running similar events in Europe. A number of local and overseas coaches have expressed interest and these will be confirmed once final entries for the clinic are received.

AOST Coach Rob Brewer, and Shane Smith who recently coached our Worlds team will head up the Australian coaches.

Already there is a large overseas contingent entering and Mike Gallagher, AIODA President says "with the confirmation of Diego as lead coach we expect more overseas entries to the clinic and both the regattas".

The clinic also offers an opportunity for AOST Coach Rob Brewer to closely monitor the influx of junior sailors from the local Minnow and Sabot fleets who have entered or recently purchased/chartered boats to try for a spot in 15 member AOST.

AIODA is hopeful the clinic will provide valuable lessons for up and coming local coaches as well, as it is the first Optimist specific training camp in Melbourne, and invites interest in attending for all or part of the clinic.

The Clinic is open to all sailors competing in the Pacific Rim and National Championships wanting to improve their racing skills. 

The cost of the Clinic is AU$150 each and includes thre days clinic, breakfast and lunch daily and an event T-Shirt.

Spaces are limited and entries for the clinic are scheduled to close on October 15th.

Notice of Clinic available at

Further information call Steven Bond on +613 9525 3788 or e-mail


First Overseas Entry   

August 10 2007

Harald Faeste, winner of both 2007 Open Pac Rims and Nationals is the first overseas entry received for the BIG 2008 Opti Summer Sailing Season.

Harald was the top 13 year old at the Opti Worlds in Sardinia Italy last month finishing 19th overall.

Harald's father, Kristian will be using the three events on the Mornington Peninsula as training during the European winter for his tilt at the 2008 Worlds in Turkey.

There is much interest from overseas and AIODA expects a large increase in the number of countries and overseas competitors at these events over last year.

Pac Rim & Clinic host club Mornington will boast its own fleet of 20+ IOD'95 up from 6 boats last year and 10 OziOpti 'Poly' boats in green fleet, and it is hoped that McCrae, Black Rock, Sandringham and RMYS will all have their boats to add to the Victorian contingent.

 For more information see


A BIG Opti Summer Downunder  

July 19 2007

Following on from the success of the first Sail Melbourne Pacific Rim & Open International Optimist Championships, it's on again at Mornington Yacht Club, followed by a training camp and then the 2008 Australian & Open Championships at Frankston Yacht Club in conjunction with the 2008 Australian Youth Championships.

So, 16 days of Optimistic FUN and all within 15 minutes drive.

Acommodation of varying levels is available, please e-mail me with your requirements, dates, number of people, budget and we'll try and point you in the right direction.

As an example of what's available within 10 minutes drive;

2 Star Cabin, sleeps 4 to 6, within 10 mins Mornington & 15 mins Frankston. AU$30 per person per night.

4 Star B&B, doubles only avail 6-11 Jan, AU$80 pp pn.

Entire cabin camp, sleeps up to 90 people, avail Dec 26 to Jan 12, AU$25 pp pn.

Holiday Homes see

NOR's are available at

Charter Boat forms are at



EziOpti rental plan builds numbers  

July 10 2007

OziOpti has developed ‘EziOpti’ a rental system designed to make entry level sailing more achievable and ‘Get Kids in Boats’.

OziOpti employs only the highest possible quality of products and services, which has led to families, clubs and sailing schools choosing us for their short and long-term rental requirements.


EziOpti is a two year rental agreement starting from $88pcm for the OziOpti 'Club' model with covers, beach trolley and class membership. The regatta model is $104pcm and there are a limited number of ex-charter 'Regatta' at $88pcm.

At the end of the two years you have three options; pass the boat to a younger sibling and renew the rental at 25% less, make an offer to purchase outright or, return the Opti.





Call Steven Bond on 0424 225 774 to discuss your childs requirements. 


  Customers around Australia choose OziOpti because we've proven that we're Number One   in terms of:

 §                Dedication – OziOpti is the only Australian company supporting the development of the Optimist Class in . OziOpti has invested many thousands of dollars with the view to give every Aussie kid the opportunity to try sailing.

 §                Service & Price - Provide the highest possible level of service at the best possible price.

 §                Quality of product - Top brands, fully serviced before each rental and in excellent working order.

 §                Affordability – OziOpti focuses on reducing the entry level cost of sailing, our rental system is no different. As the builder/importer of our products, we as the renter work from a cost price, unlike a retailer/financier who adds interest to the retail price. 

 §                Instant availability & Fast delivery – OziOpti has product available in all capital cities so we can deliver and provide onsite service within hours and provide product familiarisation at our next coaching session.

§                On-going service and training – OziOpti provides qualified coaches 24/7 via phone, e-mail or regular training sessions#. (commencing summer 07 -08)

§                National coverage – supporting the Optimist class in all states of .

Renting an Optimist Dinghy from OziOpti can solve a host of problems and provide many benefits. Here are some of the main reasons why our customers rent:

 §                Training - We will teach your child from learn to sail through to racing skipper#. EziOpti customers receive the same introductory support as outright purchasers with savings on all levels of coaching.

 §                Upgrade – moving from an OziOpti ‘Club’ to ‘Regatta’ is simple and easy with the OziOpti rental system, so as your child develops, the boat can too without you concerning yourself with the depreciation. 

 §                Budget and Financial Constraints – sailing is an equipment reliant sport, most families are restricted by available disposable income and providing equally for siblings.



 EziOpti is faster, simpler and more cost effective.






OziOpti Official Charter Boat Supplier to AIODA  

June 27 2007

AIODA, the Australian International Optimist Dinghy Association has announced that Steve Bond's OziOpti has again been selected as the official charter boat supplier for the 2008 Australian & Open International Optimist Dinghy Championships.

OziOpti was selected ahead of three other international Opti suppliers following the high level of service and support provided to AIODA over the past year since it was selected to supply boats for the 2007 Australian Championships.

OziOpti will supply its 'Regatta' specification IOD'95 International Optimist Dinghies which are specified to Worlds Championship standard, with Optiparts BlackGold spars, new rule Foam Epoxy Foils added to the Top Quality Racing Hulls from Chinese boatbuilder ZouIntermarine.

For newcomers to the class that don't have their own sail, OziOpti will make class sails available at a small charge.

Charter forms available at


OziOpti selected by Sail Melbourne  

March 27 2007

Sail Melbourne 2008 has appointed OziOpti as the official charter boat supplier for the 2nd Pacific Rim & Open Championships to be sailed again at Mornington Yacht Club between December 27 and 31, 2007.

Sail Melbourne 2008 will be the biggest Olympic classes regatta in the southern hemisphere, with the competition expected to attract close to 3000 competitors from 30 countries around the globe to Melbourne waters for this high-profile event.

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade 1 Olympic & Invited Classes at Sail Melbourne will be held throughout January 2008 on the Mornington Peninsula and on Port Phillip Bay.  

Given the 2008 Olympic Classes Regatta was announced as the opening event of the prestigious and inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup, it is expected the event will be the largest regatta of its type in the Southern Hemisphere since Sail Melbourne hosted the 1999 Worlds in nine Olympic classes, and the major regatta leading into the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

OziOpti is the official Australian Optimist charter boat supplier and it's boats have taken 1st place and filled most of the podium spots at the 2007 Pac Rims, Australians and VIC, NSW, SA, QLD State Championships.

So if your family is travelling from interstate or overseas for another regatta why not get the kids to join in the Pacific Rims, OziOpti's Steven Bond will offer special rates to competitors wanting to compete in both the Pacific Rim and National Titles that follow shortly after at Frankston between January 6 and 11 in conjunction with the Australian Youth Championships.

Opti Nationals  

January 13 2007

Sandy Bay Sailing Club on the Derwent River at Hobart was the location for the 8th International Optimist Dinghy Australian & Open Championships between January 7th and 13th.



Lead sponsors of the event were TOLL Shipping who transported the charter boats from Mornington following the Pacific Rim Championships, OziOpti would like to thank TOLL and BassLink for a fantastic service and generous support.



This Australian Championships saw some very significant developments in junior sailing for with the selection of the top fifteen competitors to the inaugural Australian Optimist Sailing Team (AOST), more about this later, but it also developed a very strong bond with the Yachting Australia Youth Championships conducted at the same club over a slightly shorter period.



Once again the Optimist class attracted competitors from overseas and again as in the Pacific Rim Championships a few days earlier it was ’s Harald Faeste – now better known as Fast Harry - who had superior boat skills and smarts, but a lot more Australians finished higher up the list than at Mornington.



Following Harald in 2nd place was Sam Gilmour, 3rd was Matthew Wearn, both of Western Australia ahead of Valentin Piquemal of New Caledonia. Runner-up in the 2007 Sabot Nationals was Sean Ott finished 5th ahead of local Tom Kennedy in 6th. Milly Bennett again was the ‘Top Girl’ in 7th position.



Again OziOpti was proud to have been involved in this fantastic event superbly managed by Sandy Bay Sailing Club, to AIODA for appointing OziOpti as the official Charter boat supplier and reiterating everyone’s appreciation to TOLL Shipping and BassLink for their generous support of this regatta.


Rental Option making it easy to Get Kids in Boats  

January 11 2007 12 January 2007

Steven Bond from OziOpti is passionate about getting kids in boats. Bond believes the Optimist Dinghy is the key to the future. There are 400,000 of these snub nosed dinghies worldwide and it’s not unusual to see 1,000 boats at the European Championships. With 150,000 active sailors, it is by far the largest class worldwide. Now a boat rental option aims to further increase participation in .

Why is it the Optimist Dinghy so popular?

Bond says 'because its is affordable, is low maintenance, its stable for beginners, provides a level playing field and the class provides plenty of opportunity for kids to advance.'

Bond is looking at kids and sailing, recognising that there are many more sporting options for youngsters than when he was a 'tacker.' Bond continued, 'We are trying to remove the barriers where we can. Cost of Ownership is one. We are excited to announce the introduction of the EziOpti rental plan. Now parents can rent an OziOpti ‘Club’ model with class membership, registration and covers for $80 plus GST per month and at the end of the two year period; simply return the boat continue renting at a reduced rate or make an offer to buy. The EziOpti rental plan for the ‘Regatta’ model is just $95 plus GST per month.

‘Our major goal is to increase participation in our sport for the benefit of all stakeholders (sailors, clubs, industry, etc) and we do this by making entry level sailing more affordable, delivering world class products and, by providing a level playing field (via the Optimist Class and its strict one-design rules). We have already proved we can improve retention to previously unimaginable levels, better than 30%.

'OziOpti aims to maintain pricing of the ‘Club’ at $2,995 and the ‘Regatta’ at $3,650 through ‘07. EziOpti customers enjoy 50% savings on OziOpti charter and coaching plus special offers from suppliers.

The new Pac Rim Champs  

January 03 2007

PACIFIC RIM CHAMPIONSHIPS, the first international Opti regatta in was conducted by Sail Melbourne and held at Mornington YC between December 27th and January 3rd with competitors representing , , , Hong Kong, and our Tasman neighbor .







47 kids, many of them first time regatta entrants in the novices ‘Green Fleet’ had an absolute ball in sometimes light and trying conditions.







The overall winner of the Pacific Rim & Open International Optimist Regatta contested by 27 optimistic kids was 12 year-old Harald Faste of Norway, Singaporeans Ko Chuan Yang, Peter Wong Vinn Lian and Mark Wong Vinn Howe filled the next three places ahead of Western Australian Matthew Wearn in fifth place, Jakob Klitte of Sweden was 6th, Jack Collinson of New Zealand 7th ahead of ‘Top Girl’ Milly Bennett of RPAYC. For full results see







OziOpti was proud to have prepared the first seven placed boats and report no damage or breakages across the 20 plus boats it supplied for the regatta.







OziOpti would also like to warmly thank Sail Melbourne (one of only 5 Grade 1 ISAF events worldwide) for entrusting this important role, Mornington YC for its normal friendly welcome to OziOpti and all competitors, especially those who travelled from overseas and interstate, and excellent race management, VIODA for its continued support and rapid growth.







Off to Hobart for the Nationals now …………………………..







Optimistic about the future of Sailing   

December 14 2006

Victorian sailor Steven Bond starting sailing Sabots and Lasers out of Mornington Yacht Club as a child, moved up to Etchells and then into Big Boats. Last year he was shocked to discover his home club had only ONE junior sailor and he set out to do something about that.

Bond recognised the Optimist Dinghy could be the key to the future. There are 400,000 of these snub nosed dinghies world-wide and it’s not unusual to see 1,000 boats at the European Championships. With 150,000 active sailors, it is by far the largest class world-wide.

'If clubs have falling junior numbers they should be firstly addressing the levels of participation in the clubs and we have now developed a program to help them,' explains Bond.

He relates how it all happened.

'Just over a year ago I arranged for the VIODA (Victorian International Optimist Dinghy Association) kids to sail on Grant Wharington’s Maxi yacht Skandia-Wild Thing at Mornington Yacht Club, with the view of showing them where the sport of sailing can lead to; undoubtedly sailing along at 18 knots (two knots above wind speed) was an experience all of them enjoyed and can carry forward.

'A dozen kids bought their Opti’s down from Sandringham Yacht Club and did a few short course races prior to the sail. At the kid’s suggestion, I offered the Mornington Yacht Club's (MYC) juniors the chance to sail the Opti’s whilst their skippers were out on Skandia. The Mornington Yacht Club's Off The Beach captain advised me that there were only three kids sailing sabots amongst the other OTB classes and that two of them had just left the club to sail elsewhere, with more kids.

'I remember as a kid the days at MYC when 40 to 50 Sabots sailed every weekend and it really fired me up to find a sustainable solution.

'It is also important to realise that this (falling junior numbers) is not just a Mornington, or Victorian or Australian problem. When I Googled ‘junior sailing’, ‘sailing introductory’, etc, etc, I was amazed to find similar reports from all around the world.

'The short list of problems that I’m sure many of you will be familiar with include;

1. Too many other options for the kids, e.g. cooler sports – like basketball, video games, DVD’s, etc
2. Yachts are too expensive for the club and families to purchase.
3. Volunteers (bless them) are scarce for running sailing schools.
4. Volunteers (bless them again) are scarce for winter maintenance.
5. Parents are time poor, (basketball for example - a game starts at 10.15, finishes 11.00)

Bond continues, 'My method is as follows; I am a one-design believer and recognise Yachting Australia insistent that the kids needed to sail an International Class and I realise there are many different takes, opinions and already established classes.

'I set out to listen to as many people as possible and along with my ‘Google’ finger, short listed the problems with a view to introducing an overall solution based on the International Optimist Dinghy, because it meets the following criteria;

1. Affordable
2. Low Maintenance
3. Stable for beginners
4. Level playing field
5. Opportunity to advance

'My goal is to work with yacht clubs to provide a schools program to increase participation, and to develop the program to improve retention rates so that there is long-term viability for the sport, for clubs, industry and all stakeholders.

'And to schieve this goal, OziOpti will establish a pilot schools program called ‘Tackers’ this summer.

'Tackers will be to sailing what Auskick is to Australian Rules Football. It aims to deliver the above stated goal, by reducing the reliance on club finances and volunteers; by utilising existing assets and the Yachting Australia 'Get Into Small Boat Sailing' syllabus which will be delivered by existing YA instructors and an intake of new instructors; providing Oppi sailing dinghies in exchange for sponsorship rights which involves local business people, delivering a broader community benefit.

'Within three years we plan to have Tackers operating at 60 yacht clubs around Australia, introducing 60,000 primary school students to the sport each year. Tackers will also begin mobile services to cater for kids in regional areas.

'By introducing the support of local business we can build a sustainable program. It is anticipated that governments of all levels will eventually support the program with cash, kind, services, etc, but the reality is that our sport needs to drive this program itself in order to prosper in the future.'

The Mornington Yacht Club time line and what can be and indeed has been, achieved in 1 year:

August 2005: 1 junior sailor at MYC.

Sept to Dec 2005: OziOpti works with MYC parents towards a training
program and local business funding of boats.

December 2005: 5 Oppi sail training dinghies (poly) delivered. MYC Training Program over booked.

January 2006: 5 more Oppi delivered
Regular 20 kids sailing
40+ kids through program
Squad of 12 training

February 2006: Lidgett Cup participation

March 2006: Sail Boat Show ‘go sailing’ demonstration

April 2006: OziOpti ‘6 for 5’ Offer accepted by 5 parents

August 2006: OziOpti’s delivered to 6 individual kids.

Sept – Dec 2006: Fundraising raffle of OziOpti donated boat for benefit of junior sailing at MYC.

December 2006: MYC to host Pacific Rim Championships.

Bond continues; 'Mornington Yacht Club will be conducting junior programs throughout school holidays, they have arranged with some local schools to conduct schools sailing and already have three or four more kids keen to get Opti’s before the Pacific Rim Championships.

'So in just over a year we are seeing the return of kids to MYC in large numbers. Around the world the Optimist Dinghy fleets mushroom from similar beginnings. There are more than 600 Optimists sailing in New Zealand and 300 in Singapore,' concludes Bond.

If your Club has falling Junior numbers now is a good time to talk to Steven Bond.

To learn more about OziOpti program contact Steven Bond at - 0424225774.


by Rob Kothe

Soaring costs sinking Sabot's   

November 12 2006

Sabot fleets are shrinking says Queensland’s Ian Grant, who sheets the problem home to expensive fiberglass boats taking the little Australian dinghy out of the reach of many families.

The physically demanding sport of dinghy sailing has a long association with the heritage of our nation yet it continues to slip in popularity as the nation’s modern generation turn their attention to other less expensive sporting challenges.

Queensland Sabot fleets which had produced so many young champions over the past four decades have declined dramatically and the numbers are continuing to slide.

In many respects changes to the class rules casting aside an affordable plywood dinghy and replacing it with an expensive fiberglass hull has placed the Sabot beyond the reach of most families.

Several champion dinghies which represented Queensland during the 2005-6 Australian championship bought inflated prices of $4000 to $7000 which is expensive for a fully rigged second hand 8ft snub-nose dinghy.
There is no quick fix to the problem as the chase to own the fastest Sabot continues between the more affluent families.

Sure every child who has an interest in sailing deserves the opportunity to experience the Sabot fellowship but the current entry level cost has placed it beyond the reach of a majority of lower income family budgets.
The elite sailors also deserve to race with the best hull, sails and equipment and therefore the new generation Sabot dinghy will continue to be modified and improved.

This class should be reclassified as a Grand Prix Sabot and race in a separate club, State and National competition while the State associations should call for an expression of interest to race the older timber boats in a classic division.

Most Queensland clubs have a number of ‘Classics’ gathering dust in their dinghy racks and they are eventually destined for the scrap heap unless they are restored for junior fleet racing.

They are great little boats well built from the best timber but more importantly they have the potential to provide a cheaper option for children to enjoy traditional dinghy class racing.

The sheltered water courses located on the Pumicestone Passage at Caloundra, and Mooloolah, Maroochy and Noosa Rivers are the perfect venues to launch a round-robin interclub regatta for the Classic Sabot class.

Each venue has a long history of promoting junior sailing with the Mooloolah River course producing several outstanding Australian champions who launched their careers with racing in timber Sabots.

World 420 championship winning helmswoman Lisa Charlson encouraged to race a Sabot against the boys after her older sisters Fiona and Andrea became the first all girl crew to win the Australian Junior championship valued the opportunity to gain experience and confidence from sailing a ‘classic’ in club racing on the Mooloolah River.

The Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club which recently hosted a successful South Queensland River championship for the modern Sabot class is the perfect location to launch the wooden Sabot revival.

But the idea which has the potential to offer a low cost sailing experience for young children will remain as a pipe dream until the class association and Clubs combine to form a committee to promote ‘fun racing’ for this classic timber dinghy.


by Ian Grant

Optimist provides international opportunities   

November 11 2006

In a positive move for the future of Junior sailing the Optimist Class are providing international opportunities for Australian Junior sailors.

Michael Gallagher, the AIODA President explained ‘We are inviting members of other Junior Class to the Australian Optimist National Championship in Hobart January 7 – 13, 2007. This invitation has been extended to Minnow, Sabot, Manly Junior, Holdfast Trainer, Flying 11, Flying Ant, Int Cadet, Pelican and the Mudlarks.

‘The best placed 15 sailors in this regatta will be given the opportunity to join the Australian Optimist Sailing Team (AOST). The AOST will then return to their home state to be coached under guidance from the YA High Performance Coaches at a state level.

‘The AOST is then brought together under a national coach to compete as a national team at the Adelaide International Regatta March 07.

‘Following this regatta and subject to sponsorship and fundraising levels members of the AOST may be selected to attend the Optimist NZ Nationals in Napier April 07, the Singapore Nationals June 07 and a team of 5 sailors may then compete at the Optimist World Championship in Sardinia, Italy July 07.

There will be partial funding of the AOST members to compete in these events. Membership of the AOST will be for 12 months with selection at each Optimist Nationals.

The Pacific Rim Championships Mornington YC will be raced from Dec 29 to Jan 3. Entries already recieved from Norway, Sweden, Mauritius, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong as well as nearly all Australian States. Details at

The 2006/07 Optimist Nationals in Hobart is open to any sailor registered with an Australian State Optimist Association and fulfilling the criteria as set out in the Notice of Race for this regatta. Details are on the web site

Boat ownership is not required to compete in the Optimist Nationals as competitive charter boats are readily available from $400.00 for the championship. Details again on the website

Gallagher continued ‘We believe the AOST is an exciting opportunity for the best junior sailors in Australia to obtain the highest level coaching and competition opportunities. ‘

Yachting Australia also consider this scheme as important to the advancement of junior sailing in Australia and have endorsed the plans.

Phil Jones, CEO Yachting Australia said ‘Yachting Australia considers that young sailors can only benefit from exposure to an appropriate level of international competition. This is not something available to those sailing in our very successful Australian junior classes.

‘The pathway provided by inviting the leading sailors from other junior classes to compete at the Optimist Dinghy Class National Championship in provided boats, and from there selecting a team to train and compete internationally received general support.’

The Optimist has critical mass world wide. Victor Kovalenko believes the 2016 and 2020 Australian Sailing Team will be coming from the large Optimist fleet.

Doing a mark rounding with ten other boats in the fleet is different to racing in a fleet of sixty, just ask Tom Slingsby. Singapore has 300 Optimists, NZL 600 and the size of those fleets will produce opportunities for young sailors that will stand them in good stead in years to come.


by Rob Kothe

Pittwater schools sailing Oppi’s   

October 26 2006

The ‘Oppi’ by Steve Bond’s company OziOpti, has been introduced for entry level junior students in a very successful schools sailing program on Pittwater. This program has been running for four years targeting primary schools, and is coordinated by the Alfred’s Sailing Academy at Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on behalf of all the clubs on Pittwater (Avalon Sailing Club, Bayview Yacht Racing Association), making use of all of the available facilities.

Last Friday was the first day of sailing for term 4, and saw 144 children from five different schools participating, with other schools keen to get in the action.

The Pittwater program mostly targets children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing, and aims for them to have a fun and safe experience, ultimately wanting to come back for more. Emphasis is on participation, and by ensuring the fun and safe aspects; retention in the program has been strong.

The Oppis are used as an alternative to Pacer dinghies for entry level sailing (generally 8-9 year olds) to give the kids a more independent experience, and not requiring an instructor onboard.

Funding for the new fleet of Oppis has been provided by the Newport Foundation, which has been specifically established to support primary schools sailing and has developed the model on which the Pittwater program is based.

Newport Foundation has a clear goal to have sailing as a viable summer sport elective for every primary school student in Australia, and is working towards providing the infrastructure for this to become a reality.

The Oppi is the same boat that Sail-World wrote about last month at Mornington Yacht Club which now boasts almost 20 junior sailing dinghies, up from a solitary one last year.

Oppi fleets are now also appearing as the training boat of choice at McCrae, Sandringham, St.Kilda and Black Rock in Victoria and, RQ, Southport and Hamilton Island in Queensland.

Steve Bonds’ Tackers program shares many of the Newport Foundation goals
Bond comments, 'We already have the club facilities and the waterways which typically are under utilised on weekdays, so if a club is serious about building junior ranks Tackers can help supply the boats with local business and some national sponsorship.

'If the schools program expands, as indications are that it will, then our biggest challenge will be to find enough instructors.

'We are looking at ways to run scholarships for our intermediates on a HECS type system to give the Yachting Australia Instructors / Tackers credentials. This would be a good outcome and give a lot of tertiary students, some part time income whilst they undertake their education'.

OziOpti official supplier to Australian Optimist Association  

July 23 2006

The Australian Optimist dinghy company OziOpti has been appointed by AiODA to provide up to forty charter boats for the 2007 International Optimist Australian Championships being hosted by Sandy Bay Yacht Club between January 7th and 13th 2007 in conjunction with Sailing South and the Australian Youth Championships.




OziOpti charter reservation forms are available on the charter page of


Notice of Race and entry details can be found on the association site


Information about the International Optimist Class can be found at


Victorian Optimist Champion gains big fleet experience  

May 01 2006

Tim Hannah traveled to Torbay Yacht Club, Auckland New Zealand at Easter to compete in the New Zealand Optimist Nationals, 230 kids from five countries competed, click the link below to read his report.

OziOpti official supplier to Sail Melbourne  

March 06 2006



The Australian Optimist dinghy company OziOpti has been appointed by Sail Melbourne to provide charter boats for the Pacific Rim International Optimist Championships being held at Mornington Yacht Club between December 27 and January 3 2007 as part of the world famous Sail Melbourne Regatta.


OziOpti charter reservation forms are available on the charter page of


Notice of Race and entry details can be found on the event site


Information about the International Optimist Class can be found at