The 2018 GREAT OPTIMIST RACE was incredible!

The inaugural race took place on Sunday 21 October 2018 in gusty and tricky conditions on a beautiful day in Cape Town. 42 Optimist sailors set off on a tricky 3 lap course through the V &  A Waterfront, watched by 1000s of spectators. With the magnificent backdrop of Table Mountain, the sailors raced for glory and survival. The competitors comprised of adults made up of medical survivors, local celebrities, Captains of Industry and some pro sailors. Three separate start, beginner, intermediate and pro sailors, allowed for a good handicap and a chance for those who had only learned to sail days before. This unique race was all about overcoming the odds and surviving. It’s about inspiring sick and needy kids to never ever give up and find a passion to live for. So, as in the race of life, this race had some unique curveballs and obstacles for the sailors to overcome. Not only did the wind squalls and gusts in the second basin cause havoc, but so did the pedestrian bridge that opened and closed at will, along with “water pistol armed and dangerous” local celebrities Kieno Kammies and Tanya Neft on their own bigger yacht. These were the disrupters. The competitors had to get past these to cross the line.

Our Brave Survivors, Caleb and Jasper, neck and neck for 1st Place!

    It was Caleb Swanepoel, an amputee and shark attack survivor (in the Primi Piatti Optimist) who sneaked in to win the race, just ahead of Jasper Eales in the Sealand Optimist.  (Jasper is a liver transplant survivor).


First to sink – Ian Klopper of NSRi in the web tickets Optimist. Jumping the start award – Arno Carstens ( Rock Star). Most committed to the cause and in 3 rd Place – Maryke Musson of the 2 Oceans Aquarium. What a race and what a day! During the 3 days – the Little Optimist Trust hosted sailing experiences and academy’s for kids in less fortunate circumstances. Reach for a Dream kids and their parents got to experience sailing, a captain courage ceremony, the 2 oceans aquarium and lunch at a restaurant. Law hill academy kids and  9 mile project kids were also treated to a day at the boat show, which included all of the above. Fun was had, passion was found, skills were taught and dreams were made real! And that’s what it’s all about. All Optimists will be used in the new Little Optimist Sailing Academy being set up to teach sick and needy kids how to sail. To assist, donate, sponsor a boat or donate a boat, please contact

For a visual representation of how the day went, check out the video below:


Our Winners Of The Day



Our Survivor Squad

Our Racers For The Day

Optimist Sailing SA team

Well done Optimist Sailing SA team keep up the good work! Well done Sean Kavanagh who came in 4th place - we are so proud. Follow the link toe todays results…/d…/races/race-resultsall

Getting ready for The Great Optimist Race

We are getting ready and ship shape for #thegreatoptimistrace 2019. Huge prep and boat fixing and beautifying being done by our amazing experts @johnhishin @drumbeatphotography @capetownsportphotography Zeekoe Vlei Yacht Club Massive thanks...

A Man With Heart | Sail & Leisure

Article by Sail and Leisure. A Man With Heart | The Greg Bertish Story Greg Bertish is well-known for his passion and determination to help and support children who are experiencing tough times in hospital by bringing a little cheer back into their lives. His story...

GOR and Boat Show Feature | Sail and Leisure

[WATCH] The Great Optimist Race 2018

Great Optimist Race Gets R4.3 Million Free PR ( R1.4 mill AVE)

We are incredibly stoked at this amazing opportunity to enrich and change the lives of so many! Without the help of all our sponsors and you guys, this would never be possible! THANK YOU! Click on the button to see more. [button...

Cape Town 2018 Boat Show Highlights Video

Some snippets from this year's Cape Town International Boat Show (2018). South Africa’s premier boating and luxury lifestyle event.

The Great Optimist Race Features On The Spotlight On ETV

The Great Optimist Race features on The Spotlight with Tanya Neft on ETV Watch the feature at 8.50 min in below :

The Great Optimist Race On Expresso TV Breakfast Show

Watch the video below :

Thank You | CROCS

Here is some CROCS fun in the sun at The Great Optimist Race – 21 October 2018. CROCS sponsored an optimist for the race and their boat will be joining the sailing academy for development kids – thank you CROCS!  

The Highlights Of The Day

Great Optimist Race Gets R4.3 Million Worth of Free PR


To Our Main Sponsors, THANK YOU!





It’s official!

We are proud to announce that The Great Optimist Race will take place at the Cape Town International Boat Show on 20 October 2018, at 12 noon.

Your company ( or You) can have your own Yacht, representing your brand, getting huge exposure and doing so much good for sick and needy kids.

The Little Optimist Trust will be hosting the race, along with other events and a sailing academy over all 3 days of the Boat Show. (19, 20, 21 October, all day with high visibility).

This is going to be a national showcase underneath Table Mountain, and in front of 1000s of spectators, boat owners, celebrities and the public.

The race and event will be covered by and will feature on TV, radio,  print and Social Media, and a short Documentary movie will be made.

More importantly, it will be inspiring many, and raising funds and awareness for needy charities and sick kids.


Entry Fees / Rental and sponsorship options in the document below.

Sponsored and donated Optimist boats will go on to teach sick and needy kids to sail through the Little Optimist Sailing Academy, for many years to come.

Sponsored and entered boats will be raced by you or your representative, celebrities, sports stars, CEOs & captains of Industry, past survivors, dads and moms.

Other charity boats will be racing alongside you and representing organisations like NSRI, The Children’s Hospital Trust, Cape Town Tourism, Cancer Dojo, Reach for a Dream, and more…..

All donations are section 18a Tax deductible.

There will be +/- 40 Optimist boats racing.  All skippered by adults, all raising funds and awareness for little sick and needy kids.

Please see the proposal for an Optimist sponsor below, and let me know if I can sign you up for this donation or sponsorship, or if you need to chat or get a  bit more info, please feel free to contact us:

All donations are section 18a Tax deductible.

Click Here To Download Proposal