We Love Optis!
Last spring, we brought two Optimist prams that were in the rafters back to life. It was not long before a few of our instructors, like Eddie Goggin, and some of our little skippers were reliving a faint memory or experiencing an exciting, new to them, sensation. Afterall, the single-handed “Opti” truly is sensational for when you climb in one… you are in command! What this means is you are the skipper, you are the crew, and you need to learn what makes a boat sail and fast. A tiller extension and hiking straps allow a young sailor to “hike out”. This can be crucial to maintaining the boat in near horizontal disposition during heavy air, allowing greater speed through the water. What a blast!
It registered very quickly, that if PBCB could organize a small fleet it would make an ideal transition boat between our Flying Scots, Sunfish, 420’s. The Opti is no slouch, due to its inherent stability, unstayed rig, robust construction and relatively small sail, the boat can sail in winds of up to 20 knots.
The word got out through social media and by summers end, we received donations of five of these late model dinghies and parts in decent shape. So, the PBCB Optimist Pram program is born and we now offer afternoon Optimist classes three day per week. These sessions will build on the elements of the rules of the road, fleet racing, with the goal of learning basic team racing, 3 on 3. We are really looking forward to making this tick.