Boat Sailing October
Photo Credit: Supplied (2020) / Little Optimist Trust

The annual charity fundraiser for the Little Optimist Trust is taking place in late October and as always, it’s a fun event for the grownups to give back.


Cape Town, South Africa (01 October 2023) – Optimists are dinky sailboats specifically designed for children – but this October a bunch of fully grown adults will attempt to sail these diminutive vessels in a unique relay race that promises to provide plenty of amusement for onlookers.

The Great Optimist Race is the charity centrepiece of the annual boatica exhibition, which is held in the picturesque setting of the V&A Waterfront from 27-29 October this year.

The race has become one of the highlights for regular visitors to boatica, as non-professional sailors from diverse backgrounds – including musicians, sports stars, celebrities and business professionals – grapple with the intricacies of wind direction, sails and rudders as they race across harbour waters. All the participants raise funds for the Little Optimist Trust and a cause of their choice.

Founded by well-known South African big-wave surfer Greg Bertish, The Little Optimist Trust promotes optimism and resilience among children facing health challenges. It also conducts various charitable initiatives, including sailing experiences, educational programmes and adventure therapy activities – all designed to empower children to overcome adversity.

This year the event takes on a slightly different format, with teams participating in relays rather than individual races.

“We wanted the race to be more inclusive. There’s been such a demand for people wanting to enter but we can only do so many boats in a race. A relay format will allow us to include more people, which is a win-win for everyone as we’ll be able to raise more money for charity while having fun,” says Bertish.

There will be 20 teams racing, with four people on a team. These will include an all-woman team and a development team made up of sailing instructors who have been trained by The Little Optimist Trust. In addition to the race, The Little Optimist Trust will also host 50 children who will be shown the ropes on the boats, and given a tour of the Cape Town Aquarium.

“Supporting the Little Optimist Trust and the amazing work it does with kids on the water is an integral part of the boatica experience, and we can’t wait for boatica visitors to enjoy the spectacle of the Great Optimist Race while they’re enjoying everything else that the weekend has to offer,” says Neil Piper of boatica organiser Messe Frankfurt.

If you’d like to participate in the Great Optimist Race by forming a team for the race and raising money for charity, please contact (boats are provided).

Sources: Website Submission
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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