Optimist Yearbook 2003 R

2003 yearbook

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Page 1: 2003 yearbook




Page 2: 2003 yearbook

Images of 2003

biggest regatta- Garda

three new builders

new fleets

new opportunities

the best girl and no one sank!

Page 3: 2003 yearbook

The Optimist



in over 100 countries

To provide sailboat racingfor young people at low cost


to co-ordinate youth workbetween member countries

These are the objectives of theInternational Optimist Dinghy


This yearbook is an attempt torecord how the IODA is

fulfilling its mission.

Page 4: 2003 yearbook

Let’s start at thebeginning

Fifty six years ago in Clearwater, Florida a group of citizens wanted to stop their children getting bored. Sothey asked a local designer called Clark Mills to make aboat for kids to sail. The Optimist was born.

Fifty six years later his design is still being sailed by hun -dreds of thousands of young people in over a hundredcountries worldwide.

Truly this is the boat in which the young people of theworld learn to sail.


Why sailing?

What is your child going to dothis summer? Sit in his bedroom

with his computer? Go for nicelong walks? Help in the garden?

Sailing has much to offer.Sadly man’s old enemy the wateris often safer than what man has

made of the streets.

All sorts and sizes of people sail.You don’t have to be taller,

stronger, thinner or, initially, evenfitter than the average. Boys and

girls have the same capability.

Sailing brings families together.Boats need to be transported andkids cannot drive. So driving toregattas at weekends becomes a

family activity.

This is not an exclusive world.40% of top sailors have parents

who do not sail themselves.

Why the Optimist?

It looks funny, doesn’t it?But Clark Mills knew a thing or

two about kids.

It doesn’t tip over! Beginnerseasily learn to balance them-

selves, the wind and the boat.It can’t run away with you! Let

out the only rope and the boatwill just sit there. The more water

gets in, the less it moves. And itwon’t sink.

Being alone in the boat is thequickest way to learn. Imaginetrying to learn to ride a bicycle

on a tandem with daddy!

You quickly learn from your ownmistakes and gain that essential

of sailing - and perhaps life -responsibility for your

own decisions.

Page 5: 2003 yearbook

What about the boat?

Your first Optimist will probably be older than you are,and possibly older than your parents!

Which is probably not true of your bicycle and certainlynot true of your computer. Optimists last for a very longtime. A 12 year old boat was placed in the top 20 at the1999 Europeans and the Italian boat below celebrated its22nd birthday this year. They never become obsolete.

So this is not a toy. When you want to change it you willfind plenty of buyers. This is a growing market and youwill be unlucky if its value falls by $500 a year.

And when you want to buy a new Optimist there are overthirty builders, all with boats just as fast as each other. Soin most parts of the world you can buy as good as the bestfrom a builder near you.


The first thing you need togo sailing is a boat!

All the sameUnlike most sailboats the

Optimist is a true one-design.The boats are all the same. If youwant to race a boat where moneyor technology make a difference,

look elsewhere.Every builder is regularly

inspected to ensure that his hullsconform to tight tolerances anduses similar raw materials and

building techniques. But this does not mean a

monopoly or a cartel. Anyboatbuilder can build after he hassatisfied IODA that he is compe-

tent to do so. Nearly fortybuilders in 25 countries have


AccessoriesThere is greater choice of sparsand sails. The Optimist is used

for everything from teaching 8-year olds to world-class racing by

15-year olds. This is reflected inthe equipment available.

But by the time a sailors needstop-level gear he or she will beaddicted to their lifetime sport.

Price? Prices vary according to markets

but in Europe a new hull ready tosail with basic gear should not

cost over 1,700 + sales taxes.The “best of everything” as usedat the Worlds, has a list price of

around 2,500, but ex-charterboats used for only a few days

are a lot cheaper and bulk purchase can reduce the

price still further.

Make it yourself For those with some practicalability it remains possible to

build your own wooden Optimist.

Page 6: 2003 yearbook

National Associations


Many run great websites!

Over 100 AssociationsWorldwide there are over 100

national associations affiliated to IODA.

It is they who ensure the healthand growth of the local Class.

Parents should not only join butshould offer their skills in the

service of these largely amateur bodies.

CalendarsRacing is most fun against sailors

of your own level of ability.Normally this means taking partin “open” regattas organised by

other clubs. National associationsco-ordinate and publish a calendar of these events.

TrialsAn important function of nationalassociations is to conduct the trial

races to select national teams.These are not just intended for

those who expect to qualify andin many countries are attended

by up to 200 sailors, sometimesselected from an even

bigger rank-list.In the northern hemisphere trialsoften start as soon as the weatherallows - so you can see Optimists

sailing while adults are stilltrying to find the paint-brush!

TrainingAll national associations organisetraining, and many co-ordinate a

programme of training camps and courses.

MeasurementCertification by builders that their

products conform to Class Ruleshas removed much of the

bureaucracy of measurement. Butboats and equipment still need to

be checked and this is animportant task of national

associations.Either they or the National

Sailing Association issue the sailnumber, essential before racing.

Page 7: 2003 yearbook


It is a small step from sailing round a triangle to trying todo it faster than the next person.

And it is a small step from racing in your own club to sailing at a regatta along the bay. All you need is access toa roof-rack or a trailer (and an adult who is willing todrive!)

TravelBoats have to be transported

and kids can’t drive. So parents can become full-time weekend

chauffeurs.A great idea is to alternate trips

with another parent. Then you have at least two kids to look after which stops you getting

obsessive about your own. And it is amazing what you will

learn about your children andtheir friends three hours into a

five hour car journey!

ParentsIt is very natural to want to help

your child, especially if you are asailor yourself, and to watch and

criticise his every move.It is also natural to question your

daughter’s first boy-friend ingreat detail. We recommend that

you don’t do either!Obsessive Optimist parents

upset the sailing community: thisis not a spectator sport and we

are not used to screaming fromthe sidelines!

The RulesThe rules of sailing are actually

quite simple and are taught as part of sailing. They should be

enforced from the start. “If you look at competition at

junior level you find that rulesare often bent or forgotten with

the excuse that they are onlychildren. Just when do you

expect them to learn mannersor rules if not at this level”

(HRH The Princess RoyalMember, International Olympic

Committee)A good way to learn more aboutthe rules if you have a computer

is by using a sailing simulator.Several are advertised on

the internet.

Page 8: 2003 yearbook

Sailing for girls Together or separately?At Optimist age there is very

little difference in the physicalstrength of boys and girls -

indeed there is evidence that girls may be the stronger.

A pragmatic viewThe Optimist world accepts the

evidence as it is.Some girls are as good as or better than their brothers. In

recent years we have had twofemale open world champions.

So at the Worlds we race as onefleet, boys and girls together.

But we also find that only around15% of those selected on merit

for their national teams are girls.So at the open European

Championship we reserve threeplaces for girls and they sail as a

separate fleet.As a result nationally girls have

two targets: qualify for theWorlds by getting into the top

five, or concentrate on being oneof the best three girls.

Other culturesIt is often thought that sport for

girls faces extra problems in non-European societies. This is not

the Optimist experience.Sailing for girls seems to be

acceptable to all cultures andcreeds and, wherever Optimist

fleets start to develop, it is never long before the

girls realise that this activity is far too much fun to

allow themselves to be left out.

There are many theories about young women and sport. In the Optimist girls have a choice.

All regattas are open to both boys and girls, including theWorld Championship which has twice been won by a girl. But the Open European Championship has at least threeplaces per country reserved for girls and at that event theyrace separately.

Page 9: 2003 yearbook

International travel Other parts of the worldParents rightly believe that

experience of other countries andother cultures is a vital part

of education. But it can be difficult to organise.

Exchange visits and languageschools are often disappointing,and we have all seen at holidayhotels and campsites bored kids

just longing for some excitementand to meet new friends.

International regattasAt Optimist regattas you won’t

find many bored kids.Immediately they have a common

interest with the people of theirown age from different parts of

the world, and the excitement ofusing their existing skills in a

new environment.

CalendarYou don’t have to travel abroad

often and it is entirely possible toreach the top without doing so.

But if you can there are literallyhundreds of regattas worldwide

to choose from, almost all ofthem welcoming foreign sailors

of all levels of experience.At Easter thousands of young

sailors in the northern hemispherehead south to begin their sailing

year. In the summer those notselected for championships can

find a warm welcome at nationalevents which are almost always

open, such regattas as theFlanders Youth Week, Carentec

in Brittany, and the scores of summer regattas in the USA.

and it’s so easyIf you can drive there, an

Optimist fits easily on the roof ofalmost any car. And if you can’t

there is a good chance of chartering or borrowing a boat

when you get there - just like theone at home!

Travel sells sailing!

Young people today have many attractive choicesand sailing will not keep them interested if it is con -fined to little regattas with the same sailors in thelocal club.

International travel has been the growth industry ofrecent years and in sailing this has led to the boomin sailing holidays in the sun.

The Optimist, with its international network, hasmade use of this trend to offer opportunities to theyoung people of the world.

w w w. o p t i w o r l d . o r g / i o d a - 0 3 c a l e n d a r. h t m l

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IODA championships

In 2003 over 800 young sailors fromaround 80 countries will represent theircountries at IODA championships.

All six continentsWith the creation of an IODA

African Championship in 2001the Optimist became the first boat

class to organise, in addition toits Worlds, a championship on

each continent, though theOceanians is held only biennially.

Achievable goalsYoung people need goals.

As local fleets develop IODA aims to keep

the sailors interested by providing the achievable

target of selection as part of anational team. Who has not

dreamed of representing his or her country?

SelectionFrom the start of the first

Optimist championships in the60s and 70s teams to participate

in them have been selected on the basis of trials held

in the Optimist.

. . . . of as many as possibleBut, almost from the foundation

of the IODA EuropeanChampionship in 1983, the

Optimist Class took the unusual path of having

different sailors selected for different championships.

In this way most larger countries select at least

thirteen sailors each year fornational teams.

MemoriesTo represent your country is anunforgettable experience. Manyof those who participate in our

championships may never aspireto do so as adults. But they will

always be able to look back and say:

“I was an under-16 sailinginternational”.

The Championship Year in figures

Event Sailors Countries

Worlds 221 50Europeans 283 44S. Americans 163 15N. Americans 122 13Africans 54 9Asians to be held in DecemberOceanians to be held in 2004

Page 11: 2003 yearbook

The Worlds remains theultimate goal of Optimist racers

While IODA has recently encour-aged the growth of continentaland regional championships to

facilitate sailors worldwide, the Worlds remains the focal

point of the year.

Each member country may sendup to five sailors, who

race in six divisions to reduce congestion on the start line.

The best sixteen teams also compete in the IODA World

Team-Racing Championship.

The regatta has been held on fivecontinents: 2001 in China, 2002

in the U.S.A. and 2003 in Spain.

Our special millennium Worldsfor 2000 in Spain attracted sailors from 59 countries, establishing a new world

record for the most countries sailing the same boat in any

event in the history of sailing.

The 2003 Worlds attracted a“mere” 50 nations.

World ChampionshipSailors from 82 countries have partici-pated in IODA World Championships

1962 G. Britain 31963 Sweden 41964 Denmark 81965 Finland 91966 U.S.A. 61967 Austria 111968 France 141969 G. Britain 151970 Spain 141971 Germany 131972 Sweden 15

1973 C A N C E L L E D1974 S w i t z e r l a n d 201975 Denmark 231976 Turkey 191977 Yu g o s l a v i a 221978 France 251979 Thailand 161980 Portugal 241981 Ireland 241982 Italy 301983 Brasil 22

1984 Canada 281985 Finland 321986 Spain 291987 Holland 291988 France 321989 Japan 301990 Portugal 381991 Greece 391992 Argentina 291993 Spain 411994 Italy 39

1995 Finland 411996 S. Africa 391997 N. Ireland 411998 Portugal 441999 M a rt i n i q u e 472000 Spain 592001 China 442002 U.S.A. 452003 Spain 50

42 Years of the IODA WorldsVenues and nations participating

Page 12: 2003 yearbook

IODA World Championship 1. Filip Matika Croatia2. Jesse Kirkland Bermuda3. Sebastian Peri Brusa Argentina4. Tomasz Januszewski Poland5. Hannah Mills G. Britain6. Joaquin Blanco Spain7. Ryutaro Kawai Japan8. Jason Spanomanolis Greece9. Nicklas Dackhammar Sweden

10. Richard Mason G. Britain11. Marco Grael Brasil12. Greg Carey G. Britain13. Nik Pletikos Slovenia14. Albert Zahtila Croatia15. Guney Cankaptan Turkey16. John Giannopoulos Greece17. Gijs Pelt Netherlands18. Tomás Agrimbau Argentina19. Victoria Travascio Argentina20. Filip Kljenik Croatia

Girls1. Hannah Mills G. Britain2. Victoria Travascio Argentina3. Alessandra Ferlich Italy4. Tania Zimmermann Peru5. Tine Mihelic Croatia6. Claire Ferchaud France7. Tina Mrak Slovenia8. Saki Goto Japan9. Arantza Gumuchio Chile

10. Nathalie Zimmermann Peru

Miami Herald Trophy(Team Aggregate Scores - 4 sailors, no discards)

1. Croatia 26. Mexico2. Great Britain 27. Switzerland3. Argentina 28. Denmark4. Poland 29. Belgium5. Italy 30. U.S.A.6. Greece 31. Malaysia7. Brasil 32. Canada8. Japan 33. Puerto Rico9. Spain 34. Ireland

10. Peru 35. South Africa11. New Zealand 36. Tunisia12. France 37. Singapore13. Tahiti 38. Egypt14. Sweden 39. Australia15. Bermuda 40. Austria16. Portugal 41. Korea17. Netherlands 42. Guatemala (3*)18. Ecuador 42. Russia (3*)19. Finland 44. Turkey (3*)20. Slovenia 45. Barbados (2*)21. Chile 46. Trinidad (2*)22. Uruguay 47. Algeria (2*)23. Germany 48. Morocco (2*)24. China 49. St. Lucia (2*)25. Norway 50. Venezuela (1*)

* = incomplete teams

IODA World Team Racing Championship

1. Argentina 5= Great Britain2. Peru 5= Italy3. Croatia 7= New Zealand4. Japan 7= Poland

Page 13: 2003 yearbook



BelgiumBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech Rep.DenmarkEstoniaFinlandFranceGermanyGeorgiaGreat BritainGreeceHungaryIcelandIrelandIsraelItaly



RussiaSan MarinoSlovakiaSloveniaSpainSwedenSwitzerlandTurkeyUkraineYugoslavia

AsiaBahrainChin. TaipeiChinaHong KongIndiaIndonesia



QatarSingaporeSri LankaThailandU.A.E.

OceaniaAm. SamoaAustraliaCook IslandsFijiNew Zealand

Papua N.G.SamoaSolomon Is.Tahiti

North AmericaAntigua

BahamasBarbadosBermudaBr. Virgin I.CanadaCuba

El SalvadorG. CaymanGrenadaGuatemalaMexico

Neth. AntillesNicaraguaPuerto RicoSt. LuciaSt. VincentTrinidad & T.U.S.A.U.S. Virgin I.

South AmericaArgentinaBrasilColombiaChileEcuadorParaguayPeruUruguayVenezuela

The Optimist WorldAttended the IODA World Championship 2003

Attended most recent IODA Continental Championship

Builds GRP Optimists Received development help 2002/3


SeychellesS. AfricaTanzaniaTunisiaUgandaZimbabwe



101 countries are current members of IODA*50 attended the 2003 Worlds76 attended the most recent continental championship26 built GRP Optimists15 received development and training grants

* Italics indicates that membership has lapsed

Page 14: 2003 yearbook
Page 15: 2003 yearbook

to help newer fleets Sailing for a wider worldIODA has more than doubled the

number of member national associations over the last fifteen

years and is committed to bringing the benefits of sailing to

young people worldwide. It offers limited financial aid to

“newer countries” in three areas.

Coach-Training CoursesFor newer Optimist sailing

countries and regions IODA subsidises the travel and fees of

expert instructors to train local coaches.

Recent coaching tours have beenin Central America and the

southern Caribbean.

Free boatsCountries seeking to start or

enlarge Optimist fleets canapply for one free boat for

every five bought. The boats may be bought from

any approved builder and must be owned by an

association, club or other‘not for profit’ organisation.

As a variation, countries whichbuild batches of wood/epoxy

Optimists can receive free spars and sails.

Regional regattasTo encourage regional contactsIODA offers free entry and/or

travel for countries to send their first sailors to continental

and regional regattas.

FundingThe work is funded by a share of

the royalties on new boats andsails. The development and

training account receives a fixed sum per sail sold

and boat built.


to get sailing

These young people in El Salvador are waiting for spars, sailsand buoyancy bags to arrive so that they can start sailing

like those above on last year’s course in Nicaragua.

The coach reports:“During the first 3 days we received the con-tainer with the rigs and fittings togetherwith lifejackets. We had to put the fittingsto the 10 plywoods, and clean and arrange theplace next to the lake. In the mornings we had from Managua kids fromthe German, American, French and otherschools. The afternoon was 12 kids fromGranada. We even had to teach them how toswim before we could take them sailing. Itis really nice to teach young kids how tosail only for fun and not being afraid of thewater, and giving them a chance to practicesuch a nice sport. Actually it was my verybest experience as an Optimist coach. These12 kids were afraid to get into the waterwhen we met them, and after two weeks theywere all sailing alone in the Optis.”

Page 16: 2003 yearbook

North America U.S.A. - bringing it back homeHaving invented the Optimist the

U.S.A. almost ignored it!In the 70s only 300 boats were

registered and in the 80s only1,300. Then in 1990 things

started to move, with over 11,000boats registered since then

The geographical spread has beenequally phenomenal.

In 1989 only seven states hadserious fleets and national teams

were Floridan; there are nowOptimists in at least thirty states

and the teams are far more representative.

the Bermuda phenomenonThis year’s North American

results, coupled to a Worlds per-formance which included the

silver medal, confirm the qualityof the 75 boat Bermudan fleet.

Until 1998 Optimists in Bermuda“languished”. That year theydecided to enter the Worlds:

their best sailor ranked 161st! The rest is history.

the Caribbean potentialThe potential in the Caribbean is

gradually being realised withrapidly growing fleets and

improving quality. Optimists are now sailed in at least

twelve countries and the southernislands are beginning to rivalPuerto Rico and Martinique.

In Canada cold winters have nothelped spread Optimist sailing.

But things may be starting tochange with a win at the 203 boat

Atlantic Coast Championship.Mexico, which started Optimistsailing in the late 80s, continues

to grow and to produce quality sailors.

And see page 15 for the stir-rings in Central America

under the influence ofGuatemala.

IODA North American ChampionshipValle de Bravo, Mexico

Open N. American1. Sean Bouchard Bermuda 12. Jesse Kirkland Bermuda 23. Armando Zulian Argentina4. Elijah Simmons Bermuda 35. Marc Salvisberg Venezuela6. Masao Sasagawa Japan7. Baepi Lacativa Brasil8. Yuya Isozaki Japan9. Zeke Horrowitz U.S.A. 4

10. Sam Williams U.S.A. 511. Flavio MacKnight Brasil12. Susannah Pyatt New Zealand13. Wataru Komiya Japan14. Diego Reyes Mexico 615. Eric Brockmann Mexico 716. Devin Laviano U.S.A. 817. Guillermo Arce Peru19. Andrew Lewis Trinidad 920. Carl Evans New Zealand

G i r l s1. Susannah Pyatt New Zealand2. Daniela Zimmermann Peru3. Martine Grael Brasil4. Amanda Johnson U.S.A. 15. Courtney Kuebel U.S.A. 26. Ann Haeger U.S.A. 3

Team Racing1. Bermuda 12. Mexico 23. Argentina 4. U.S.A. 3

Page 17: 2003 yearbook

Europe The second homeEurope was the second home of

the Optimist when it was imported to Denmark and

modified. For over twenty years

Scandinavian sailors dominated,winning fourteen of the first

twenty Worlds 1962-1982. Butwhen GRP and mass-production

arrived the rest of Europe becamecompetitive with fourteen

countries winning gold over thenext 20 years.

Eastern EuropeThe changes in Eastern Europe

brought a big increase in international participation

and improving results.Croatia became the country to

beat from the mid 90’s with hundreds of talented sailors

along its long coastline and astring of medals which is

now being replicated inpost-Optimist Classes.

The belief that this could only beachieved by warm-winter

countries is being challenged bythe recent emergence of Poland

where again a big increase in participants is findingsome talented sailors.

The Easter migrationA development of recent yearshas been the Easter migration.

Over 1,000 sailors from 25countries participated this year

in the Garda Easter Meeting,Braassemermeer and, the

most recent addition, Portoroz in Slovenia.

95% turnout at the EuropeansThirty six of IODA’s 38 paid-upEuropean members sent sailors

to this year’s Europeans: 178boys and 105 girls took part.

VIII European Championship - GirlsOpen Euro1. Bettina Bonelli Italy 12. Tajana Ganic Croatia 23. Marina Peñate Spain 34. Alessandra Ferlich Italy 45. Susanne Baur Germany 56. Tara Pacheco Spain 67. Enia Nincevic Croatia 78. .Maria Stanley G. Britain 89. Rikst Dijkstra Netherlands 9

10. Delfina Gainza Argentina11. Juliana Senfft Brasil12. Agueda Suria Spain 1013. Jena Mai Hansen Denmark 1114. Karin Alksted Sweden 1215. Anais Gaboriau France 1316. Marit Bouwmeester Netherlands 1417. Nina Stopar Croatia 1518. Catherine Koutsovgera Greece 1619. Lina Stock Croatia 1720. Marta Klyszejko Poland 18

XI European Championship - BoysOpen Euro1. Piotr Radowski Poland 12. Stjepan Cesic Croatia 23. Joaquín Blanco Spain 34. Michal Gryglewski Poland 45. Benjamin Borg Malta 56. Artur Nowicki Poland 67. Luca Dubbini Italy 78. Lorenzo Carloia Italy 89. Guy Abadi Israel 9

10. Shibuka Iitsuka Japan11. Tim Saxton G. Britain 1012. Philip Wender Brasil13. Wojciech Zemke Poland 1114. Josip Olujic Croatia 1215. Luka Jakovcev Croatia 1316. Alan Bacic Croatia 1417. Guilherme Lima Brasil18. George Rogis Greece 1519. Dalibor Strbac Croatia 1620. Patrick Follmann Germany 17

Page 18: 2003 yearbook

South America Ideal conditionsWith both Buenos Aires and Rio

de Janeiro having strong sailing traditions, the Optimist

arrived early in South Americaand the continental championship

dates from 1973.

Spreading the wordUruguay and Chile were not far

behind and were followed by all the Latin American

countries, who regularly attendthe IODA South American

Championship at Easter.There are even said to be

Optimists up at 3000m on Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.

Argentina and othersJust as in Optimist terms the

70s belonged to Scandinavia,the 90s belonged to Argentina

with five individual and four team-racing World golds plus a monopoly on the

South American championship.

To some extent this continueswith their fourth successive team

gold and two individual medalsin 2003. But Brasil is never far

behind and Peru, world team-racing champions for three

successive years 1997-1999 can still challenge.

Ecuador 2004The world championship will

South America for the first timein twelve years and improving

results from the hosts may causesome surprises. Chile too had

some good results at this year’sworlds and qualified for the

team-racing final for the firsttime ever.

XXXI South American ChampionshipMontevideo, UruguayOpen S. American1. Tomás Agrimbau Argentina 12. Sebastian Peri Brusa Argentina 23. Erik Brockmann Mexico4. Juan Pipkin Argentina 35. Jesse Kirkland Bermuda6. Victoria Travascio Argentina 47. Juan Pablo Cucalón Ecuador 58. Juliana Senff t B r a s i l 69. Rafael Quintero E c u a d o r 7

10. Marco Grael Brasil 811. Edgar Diminich Ecuador 912. José M. Arigos Argentina 1013. Matheus Dellagnelo Brasil 1114. José Reyes Mexico15. Martin Povoli Brasil 12Girls1. Victoria Travascio Argentina 12. Juliana Senff t B r a s i l 23. Haruka Kamiya Japan4. Tania Zimmermann Peru 35. Nathalie Zimmermann Peru 4

Team Racing:1. Peru A 2. Argentina A 3. Argentina B

Page 19: 2003 yearbook

Asia Two promising years2001 and 2002 shocked the

Optimist world.Asian countries, apart from

Japan and Thailand, only startedto compete regularly at worldlevel about ten years ago andtheir results had been modest.

The shock of QingdaoIn “home” waters and light winds

at the 2001 Worlds, Asiansailors placed 2, 3 and 5

in the individual event, tooksilver in the team-racing and

provided the best girl.Transferred half way round the

world and in the moderatewinds of Texas in 2002, they still produced four of the top 20, best girl

again and bronze in the team-racing.

In 2003 a whole first generationof sailors seems to have

“aged out” and the teams ofChina, Malaysia and Singaporewere composed largely of very

young sailors. In the heavierAtlantic winds, results may

have disappointed.But we predict that they

will be back!Conversely the Japanese had anexcellent Worlds with their bestever results in both the individ-ual (7th) and team (4th) events

Asians in MumbaiThe 2003 Asians to be held in

December has provided theincentive for an Indian builder

to start production, with 60Optimists already ordered.

It is hoped that the relatively central venue will attract sailors

from the newer membersin the Arabian Gulf.

Among those who are expectedare representatives of Sri Lanka

where IODA has subsidised anew fleet of 17 boats this year.

IODA Asian Championship - a history

With no results to report from the 2003 championship which willbe held in December, we take the chance to record the history of the championship.

Year Venue Winner 1st Girl Team

1990 Singapore Tan Wearn Haw SIN Ng Xuan Hui SIN SIN

1991 China Ryan Tan MAS Ng Xuan Hui SIN M A S

1992 Thailand Umiko Arakawa J P N Ng Xuan Hui SIN KOR

1993 Japan Tetsuya Matsunaga JPN Yuki Sanbu JPN JPN

1994 Malaysia Ryan Tan MAS Yuki Sanbu JPN M A S

1995 Malaysia Ryan Tan MAS Ayako Kamiya JPN JPN

1996 Pakistan Jiang Linhua CHN Shen Xiaoying CHN PAK

1997 Korea Shiori Kondou JPN Shiori Kondou JPN KOR

1998 China Shen Xiaoying CHN Shen Xiaoying CHN CHN

1999 Pakistan Andrew Yeow MAS Xu Lijia CHN CHN

2000 Singapore Yasushi Kondo JPN Nurul Ain M A S JPN

2001 U . A . E m i r a t e s Abdul Rahim MAS Yoko Kiuchi JPN SIN

2002 China Alvin Yeow MAS Lian Cuixian CHN SIN

This hot competition has been very good for the development of thesel a rgely government-funded sailing programmes. Many countrieswould share the expressed policy of Singapore Sailing:

“to win honours for Singapore and at the same time have them serve as rolemodels for others to join in the sport of sailing.”

Page 20: 2003 yearbook

Africa The African ChampionshipThe creation of an IODA African

Championship, which stemmeddirectly from the invitations to

“novice” countries to take part inthe millennium Worlds in 2000,has been a resounding success.

The first championship inAlexandria, Egypt in 2001

already attracted seven African countries:



South AfricaTunisia

ZimbabweSince then they have been joined

by Kenya and Uganda. In 2005 the championship has

been awarded to Kenya but willin fact be held in Tanzania.

Upgraded equipmentThe championship has shown

many of these countries what amodern Optimist looks like andthere has been a big investment

in new boats. As in Asia the gov-ernment funded programmes of

North Africa can see a direct linkbetween national prestige and

popular sport, while parents elsewhere see the

event as adding purpose to a leisure activity.

Cultural diversity The cultural diversity of the

continent was beautifullyillustrated by the opening

ceremony of this year ’s eventwhere the water were blessed

by both Islamic and Christian clergymen.

And the sailors have rapidlyfound out that if you want something translated, ask

an Egyptian!

IODA African ChampionshipPort Elizabeth, South AfricaOpen African1. Cam Cullman U.S.A.2. Aaron Larkens South Africa 13. Rudy McNeill South Africa 24. Brett Stirk South Africa 35. Thomas Fink U.S.A.6. Morgan Wilson U.S.A.7. Justin Onvlee South Africa 48. Alexander McClarty South Africa 59. Sam Wa t e r s o n South Africa 6

10. Eliza Richartz U.S.A.Girls1. Morgan Wilson U.S.A.2. Eliza Richartz U.S.A.3. Philippa Baer South Africa 14. Dana Ramadan Egypt 25. Fatima Mahmoudi Algeria 3

Team Racing1. South Africa 12. Algeria 23. U.S.A. 4. Egypt 3

Page 21: 2003 yearbook

A quiet year in paradiseBecause of the huge distances theIODA Oceanian Championship isheld only every second year. The

next event will be in New Caledonia in 2004.

The 2002 championship was held inSamoa and attended by

American SamoaAustralia

Cook IslandsFiji

New Caledonia (FRA)New Zealand

Papua New GuineaSamoa

Solomon IslandsTahiti

New Zealand undeterredWith no continental event New

Zealand decided to send their secondteam to the IODA North American

Championship where SusannahPyatt promptly took the

open girls’ prize!


Antarctica No, not seriously

Bur it does give us the chance todraw attention to the new ICE

Optimist, a sled fitted with Optimistspars and using, at least at novice

level, Optimist sails.

It looks great fun and we are toldthat most of this year’s successful

Polish Optimist team are very into this form of sailing.

IODA’s mission is “to provide sail-ing for young people at low cost”.

No one said anything about the tem-perature of the water and

we are happy to collaborate with the organisers.

Contact: Chris Williams at:[email protected]

Page 22: 2003 yearbook

After the Optimist A lifetime sportSailing is a lifetime sport wherethose aged 8 to 80 are practisingthe same skills. One of the tasks

of the Optimist Class is to provide the sailors of the future.

70-80% continue to sailResearch on the internet hasestablished that at least two

thirds of Optimist sailors whoreach national championship

level continue to sail competitively after the Optimist

A study of the sailors at the 1995Optimist Worlds has found that66% of them can be identified

as sailing later, and in the European Union this figure rises

to 80%, perhaps because of better internet reporting.

And surveys of under-13 sailorsat purely national events show

similar percentages.

Feeding the youth ClassesFormer Optimist sailors dominate

the youth Classes, this year winning the world championships

and/or world youth championships of the Laser

Radial, Laser Standard, Byte, 470and 29er among others.

50% of the Olympic fleetAt the Sydney Olympics over50% of all dinghy helms were

former Optimist sailors: of these over 70% had sailed in

IODA World or continental championships.

Results from the 2003 ISAFWorld Championship suggest that

this figure will be higher inAthens.

The success of the Optimistis the future of sailing!

w w w. o p t i w o r l d . o r g / i o d a - o l d b o y s . h t m l

Some of this year’s ex-Optimist world champions

Ed Baird (USA) World Match Racing

Xavier Rohart (FRA) Olympic Star Class

Gustavo Lima (POR) Olympic Laser Class

Ben Ainslie (GBR) Olympic Finn Class

Siren Sundby (NOR) Olympic Europe Class

Gabrio Zandoná (ITA) Olympic 470M Class

Sofia Bekatorou (GRE) Olympic 470W Class

Chris Draper (GBR) Olympic 49er Class

Aron Lolic (CRO) International Laser Radial Class

Isobel Ficker (BRA) International 420 Class

David Evans (GBR) International 29er Class

Jeremy Koo (MAS) International Byte Class

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) International Laser Radial Youth

Sime Fantela (CRO) International 470 Youth

Not all did that well in the Optimist. This year’s Tornado Classworld silver medallist placed 142nd in the Optimist Worlds. Maybe he needed another hull!

Ed BairdPhoto © Sergio Dionisio

Page 23: 2003 yearbook

President:René Kluin I.R.O. (NED)

Vice-Presidents:David Booth (RSA)Peter Barclay (PER)Mimi Santos (POR)

Technical Comittee:Curly Morris I.M. (IRL) chairmanNuno Reis I.M. (POR)Jens Juhl (DEN)Consultant:Luis Horta Moragas I.M. (ESP)

Regatta Committee:Michel Barbier I.R.O., I.J. (FRA)

chairmaAlen Kustic I.R.O. (CRO)Luis Ormaechea I.R.O., I.J. (ESP) Tom Hale (USA)Consultant:Tony Lockett I.R.O. (GBR)

International Measurers:Jean-Luc Gauthier I.M. (FRA)Yoshihiro Ishibashi I.M. (JPN)Ms. Hyo-Kyung Jang I.M. (KOR)Paolo Luciani I.M. (ITA)Luis Horta Moragas I.M. (ESP)Curly Morris I.M. (IRL)Nuno Reis I.M. (POR)Ralph Sjöholm I.M. (FIN)

Members of Honour:Viggo Jacobsen (President of HonouLars Wallin Nigel RingrosErik C. Hansen Al ChandlerJens Andersen Fred KatsHelen Mary Wilkes Ralph SjöholmNorman Jenkins

IODA was founded in 1965 and became an ISAF (thenIYRU) International Class in 1973.

To maintain the strict one-design principle it measures pro-totypes from each mould, conducts inspections, undertakesscrutineering at major championships, and maintains a net-work of International Measurers (I.M.s)

To ensure the quality of racing it provides top InternationalRace Officers (I.R.O.s) for major championships and pub-lishes guidelines for organising them.

Coordinating of national associations on each continentis largely the work of the vice-presidents.

The secretariat conducts all correspondence, maintains thewebsite and publishes newsletters and this yearbook.



Secretariat:International Optimist DinghyAssociationBalscadden View, Abbey St.Howth, Dublin, Ireland

Secretary: Robert Wilkes Tel: +353-1-839 5587Fax: +353-1-839 4528e-mail: 100540.2646@c o m p u s e r v e . c o m

Page 24: 2003 yearbook

and finallyEveryone knows the OptimistIt’s those little urchins who demand the best of everything, spend their lives zooming aroundthe world, get stressed out and give up sailing the moment they can escape their parents.

Well . . .

Sailing needs themOne famous royal club wrote to us this year: “We have lost a generation of sailors” by nothaving Optimists. Kids today are being sold things at an early age. If we don’t sell themsailing early and keep selling it to them, they will be lost to the sport.

the best of everythingParents will always buy the best they can afford for their kids. What the Optimist does is toensure that the price of the best doesn’t discourage the others. The very best of everythingwill not cost you more than 500 a year. And it will never be replaced by a newer model.

zooming around the worldAgain we cannot prevent parents from taking their kids to regattas. But many of the bestOptimist sailors - like the Croatians, Spanish and French - with big fleets at home, nevertravel abroad except to one regatta a year. Check the results sheets: almost no one goes tomore than two foreign regattas a year.OK, so the Worlds may be far away. Everywhere is far away from half the world! But thereis a full range of continental championships and regional regattas.

get stressed outNot if we can help it! What stresses kids in all sports is “making the team”. So we makethe teams as big as we possibly can and selected by each country. So if you are one of thebest 13 in any country you get on a team. In Scandinavia it’s the best 28, in the U.S.A. thebest 50 or more. Until your final year you can always aim for next year and by then youare probably ready to move to another boat anyway.

give up sailingNo they don’t. The internet (see page 23) has enabled us to disprove this myth. School,social life, work may get in the way for a bit and they may not all sail elite Classes. Butvery few give up.

The Optimist Class believes that, through decades of decisions made with only theinterests of sailors at heart, it has designed things to be as “child-friendly” as it gets.

We hope this yearbook has shown how.

Page 25: 2003 yearbook