Since 2018 boot Düsseldorf has been supporting one of the largest ranking regattas of the Opti A class in Germany, the Golden Opti, which is sailed every year at Whitsun on the Kiel Fjord, as part of a partnership. This year the Golden Opti celebrates its 50th anniversary!
The traditional "Golden Opti" regatta has been held since 1968. At the regatta organized by TSV Schilksee, which is also internationally oriented, the German sailing youngsters have the opportunity to compete internationally and make new friends.
Hundreds of sails on the fjord
At the Golden Opti and Silver Opti, which will be sailed at the same time in the Optimist B-Class, about 350 young sailors will meet on the Kiel Fjord and compete for the ranking points in exciting races. The youngest sailors will be on the water for up to 6 hours at a time and are in no way inferior to the "big ones". Before and during the races there will be a unique picture for spectators in front of the Olympic harbour Kiel-Schilksee, when hundreds of sails make their way to the two regatta courses.
The Optimist is the boat in which children learn to sail. 60 percent of the participants in the Olympic Games in Athens and 70 percent of the medal winners in sailing have started their sailing careers in the Optimist. With a length of 2.30 m and a width of 1.13 m, the Optimist is the perfect boat for beginners from the age of seven. At the same time it is technically challenging enough for ambitious sailors up to the age of 15.
Clark Mills from Clearwater, Florida, USA, certainly would not have dreamed that his soapbox would make such a career when he modified the rolling boxes of a youth club for sailing in 1947. But seven years passed before this nut shell appeared in Europe. In 1954 Axel Damgaard brought the first Opti to Denmark. It was not until the late sixties that the sailing dwarf slowly made Germany its home.