The Great Optimist charity race

In the sailing world, an optimist is a small sailing boat used for children, but this October novice adult sailers will attempt to sail these little dingys in The Great Optimist charity race at the Boatica Cape Town exhibition.

We went to watch some of the training day yesterday at The Little Optimist sailing academy.

The Great Optimist charity race

The Great Optimist charity race has become a highlight at The Boatica exhibition as novice sailors, among them celebrities, musicians,sport stars and business professionals, take to the harbour water to put their skills to the test as they navigate their little optimists in the race.

Whilst navigating their sails and rudders, each participant raise funds for both The Little Optimist Trust as well as a charity of their choice.

This year’s sees an introduction of a relay race. Previously the race consisted of individual races. However, with a huge demand of people wanting enter the race and a limited number of boats, a relay race has been introduced to allow more people to enter.

There are 20 teams, each comprising of 4 team members. Within these teams are an all women’s team and a developmental team of sailing instructors who were taught at The Little Optimist Sailing School.

On the day, The Little Optimist Trust will also host 50 children. These lucky little ones will be shown the ropes and be given a tour of the Two Oceans  Aquarium.

The Boatica exhibition is held at the V & A Waterfront from 27 – 29th October 2023

Training day

A training day, to train the teams was held yesterday, at The Little Optimist Sailing academy in Battery Park, at the V & A Waterfront.

Teams were invited to come practice sailing the little optimists, as many of the sailors have never sailed an optimist before.

We arrived at the Canal to a calm breeze, sunny day, and crews of enthusiastic sailors taking to the water.

You can watch some of the training here 

The Little Optimist Trust also hosted a group of children from Heideveld Baptist Church youth groups who joined in the fun with ice breakers, learning new skills, a Canal clean up and sailing lesson.

About The Little Optimist Trust and sailing academy

The Little Optimist Trust was founded by Greg Bertish, a respected surfer and sailor.

With a vision to encourage children who have compromed health to stay optimistic and build resilience, The Little Optimist Trust now includes various charity initiatives, which include educational and motivational talks, sailing experiences, adventure therapy and educational programs.

To learn more visit


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