Big wave surfer, charity campaigner and multiple cardiac-surgery survivor Greg Bertish is launching the first-ever Great Optimist Race at this year’s Cape Town International Boat Show.
Up to 40 Little Optimists will navigate the waters around the V&A Waterfront on 20 October, at the foot of the iconic Table Mountain, with celebrities, corporates, charities and medical survivors like Bertish at the helm. Funds raised at the event will go to the Little Optimist Trust as well as the other charities participating in the race, such as the NSRI and the Newborns Trust. The participating boats will be used by a sailing academy for underprivileged children to be set up by Bertish after the race.
Skippers taking part in The Great Optimist Race started learning the ropes at a special training day on 6 October at Zeekoevlei Yacht Club. For many, this was the first time in an Optimist and the likes of singer Arno Carstens, DA Chief Whip John Steenhuisen and Shark Spotter Monwabisi Sikweyiya were let loose on the lake to test their new-found skills.
Greg will also be hosting sailing lessons for development children from underprivileged backgrounds at the Cape Town International Boat Show.
As someone who spent more than 200 days in hospital, Bertish hopes that the race will inspire others, and particularly help provide children with the confidence to overcome the obstacles that life has thrown at them. “Kids face tough operations and uncertainty. I hope to show them that sick people can still go on to achieve amazing things,” he says.
Bertish has previously raised funds for the Maitland Cottage Children’s hospital (the only dedicated Paediatric Orthopaedic Hospital in the Southern Hemisphere), assisted with renovations, and in May organised the painting of a Little Optimist mural at the hospital, as well as the Red Cross Children’s hospital and various other organisations.
ABOUT THE BOAT SHOW:
The annual Cape Town International Boat show, set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mother City, is South Africa’s premier boating and luxury lifestyle event.
Now in its 18th year, the show which was recently acquired by Messe Frankfurt South Africa, the 3rd largest trade fair and exhibition organizers in the world, will take place from 19-21 October at the V&A Waterfront. Expect a display of the worldu2019s finest yachts, catamarans and exotic boats; family fun and water sports activities.
The show brings together manufacturers and buyers of luxury boats, accessories and marine equipment to gather, share and explore the many facets of the boating and related industries. The 2018 event is set to continue its legacy as the leading international boat show on the African continent showcasing products and services from premier industry suppliers.
Article by Brooke Buckland PR