Smooth sailing at the Optimist Sailing Academy

Smooth sailing at the Optimist Sailing Academy

At The Little Optimist Trust we are passionate about sailing therapy and our presence at The Cape Town International Boat Show was another opportunity for us to bring kids down to the water and get them sailing. We hosted children from Reach for a Dream, 9 Miles Project, STS Lawhill Maritime Academy, St.Joseph’s Home and Rotary. According to the Royal Yachting Association sailing is a powerful tool for children and helps to develop key character attributes:
– Creativity
– Teamwork
– Determination
– Communication
– Independence
– Confidence
 
All of our little guests who attended The Little Optimist Sailing Academy were either facing health challenges or difficult economic and social circumstances at home. Learning these key attributes empowers them to face their challenges head on and learn that small people can do HUGE things.
 
They thoroughly enjoyed their time on the water, their faces lighting up as they embraced the experience. One of our little guests was petrified of the water but after being coaxed in to a boat, we couldn’t get him out again! 
 
Thank You to the Two Oceans Aquarium who spoilt each youngster with a free entry, to Primi Waterfront for the delicious pizzas and to Milky Lane for the great ice cream treats, a perfect end to a perfect day.
‘Voice’ winner Craig Lucas to swop mike for Great Optimist Race boat

‘Voice’ winner Craig Lucas to swop mike for Great Optimist Race boat

Cape Town – Voice SA season 2 winner Craig Lucas will swop his microphone for a boat when he sails an Optimist (children’s dinghy) in the Great Optimist Race at the V&A Waterfront tomorrow.

His mission is to raise funds and awareness for charity.

Lucas is an ambassador for The Justice Desk and is so passionate about the work the organisation does that he put aside any apprehensions he had about learning to sail and climbed on board.

“A lot of people come to me and ask me for assistance with charity organisations but you always feel after you’ve done something (you’re) not really making a long-term impact,’’ he said.

“I heard about the Justice Desk through them contacting my mom and they are not a charity organisation as much as they are a human rights organisation. They go into underprivileged communities and teach them about human rights.

“They’ve done incredible things. For example, they’ve gone to a school where human trafficking was a bad problem. They taught the kids how to prevent it and actually stopped two girls from being taken within a year.

“The school kids themselves did that. And that’s what they do, they empower communities.”

The organisation also teaches boxing to girls that have been raped and abused. “They get them in every Saturday and give them a boxing class.

“I attended one where they showed me a girl who was new and the girls who have been there for months and the difference in their confidence was amazing.

“The new girl was so sad and quiet and her self-esteem had been destroyed.

“But the other girls were helping her. It’s incredible and they are going to make a big difference and I’m just really happy to be a part of it.”

South African shark-attack survivor sails to victory

South African shark-attack survivor sails to victory

Shark-attack survivor Caleb Swanepoel showed disability is no match for determination when he claimed the Great Optimist Race winner title for the second year in a row at the V&A Waterfront this Saturday.

The Stellenbosch University student, who has a prosthetic leg, was first over the finish line in his Two Oceans Marine boat. He was closely followed by big wave surfer Matt Bromley and double lung-transplant recipient Tanya Bothma.

“I just think it’s such a special event. As much as we are having fun and getting in the water, there’s a bigger picture to it. It’s for an incredible cause and there are so many charities involved, so for me it’s just a privilege to be here, to learn and grow. It’s really special knowing that it’s for something bigger than yourself and it doesn’t matter who comes across the line first at the end of the day,” said Swanepoel.

The Great Optimist Race

Bothma, who is a sailing novice, took the early lead before being overtaken by Swanepoel and Bromley. However, she claimed the fund-raising crown, collecting R40 000 that will be split between Groote Schuur’s Lung Transplant Unit and the Little Optimist Trust.

“Last year someone raced with me. This year I did it entirely on my own,” said Bothma. “There was no wind, so it was really hard, and I was totally exhausted by the end of it, but I loved every minute. The highlight is being able to raise money for the Groote Schuur Lung Transplant Unit.”

Springbok rugby player Scarra Ntubeni and adventurer Riaan Manser joined the unique collaborative charity event, although their size proved a disadvantage when racing the boats designed for children. Singer Craig Lucas and Cape Talk radio host Pippa Hudson also took part.

The Great Optimist Race was a highlight of this weekend’s Cape Town International Boat Show, and involved celebrities, captains of industry and medical survivors – many of whom are completely new to sailing – racing to raise funds for various NGOs and charities.

Disability not an impediment as Caleb Swanepoel wins Great Optimist boat race

Disability not an impediment as Caleb Swanepoel wins Great Optimist boat race

Cape Town – Shark attack survivor Caleb Swanepoel showed disability is no match for determination when he claimed the Great Optimist Race winner title for the second year in a row at the V&A Waterfront on Saturday.

The Stellenbosch University student, who has a prosthetic leg, was first over the finish line in his Two Oceans Marine boat. He was closely followed by big wave surfer Matt Bromley and double lung-transplant recipient Tanya Bothma.

“I just think it’s such a special event. As much as we’re having fun and getting in the water, there’s a bigger picture to it. It’s for an incredible cause and there are so many charities involved, so for me it’s just a privilege to be here, to learn and grow. 

“It’s really special knowing that it’s for something bigger than yourself. It doesn’t matter who crosses the line first at the end of the day,” said Swanepoel.

Bothma, who is a sailing novice, took the early lead before being overtaken by Swanepoel and Bromley.

However, she claimed the fund-raising crown, collecting R40 000 that will be split between Groote Schuur’s Lung Transplant Unit and the Little Optimist Trust.

“Last year someone raced with me. This year I did it entirely on my own. There was no wind, so it was really hard. I was totally exhausted by the end of it, but I loved every minute. The highlight is being able to raise money for the Groote Schuur Lung Transplant Unit,” Bothma said.

Springbok rugby player Scarra Ntubeni and adventurer Riaan Manser joined the unique collaborative charity event, although their size proved a disadvantage when racing the boats designed for children.

The Great Optimist Race was a highlight of this weekend’s Cape Town International Boat Show, and involved celebrities, captains of industry and medical survivors – many of them completely new to sailing – racing to raise funds for various NGOs and charities.

The race, which is the brainchild of charity campaigner Greg Bertish, raised over R200 000 for the various charities involved.

“We’re thrilled that this year’s event was such a success. Our ultimate aim is to raise funds for charity, to give marginalised kids hope and to have some fun in the process – and we ticked all those boxes,” Bertish said.

Cape Times