The Optimist is, quite simply, the dinghy in which the young people of the world learn to sail.

Irish Optimist Website

An Optimist has been described as:

"A flat-bottomed, hard-chine, pram-bow dinghy with a una sprit- sail" (The Observer's Book of Small Craft)

"A bathtub that breeds the best sailors" (Observant Sailor)

Specifications of the Optimist dinghy:

* 2.31m (7'6.1/2") long, 1.13m (3'8") wide. Weight 35kg (77lbs).
Easily transported on top of any car, (where it will drip water over your shiny paint- work!).
* Safe and simple enough for an 8-year old
* Exciting and technical enough for a 15-year old

Sailed in over 110 countries by over 150,000 young people, it is the ONLY dinghy approved by the International Sailing Federation exclusively for sailors under 16 years of age.

* Over half of the dinghy skippers at the last Olympic Games were former Optimist sailors.

* The boat was designed by Clarke Mills in Florida in 1947.
* Optimists first came to Europe in 1954 when a fleet started in Denmark.

Most parents find that sailing gives young people a great sense of personal achievement. In addition, the skills required to improve sailing performance both on and off the water; it helps young people develop a more organised approach to other non-sailing related activities.

Information taken from http://www.iodai.com

Class Captain: Tom Hogan