We have been fortunate to get a grant to buy 3 Optimist Dinghies in which we can teach children from the age of 7 to sail, local company, Newlands Holidays of Charmouth have kindly sponsored a boat allowing us to purchase a 4th Oppie and club member Vic Simpson is kindly allowing us the use of his grandchildren’s boat, making it a total of 5 boats.

The boats are going to be used to teach 7 – 10 year olds, who are too young for the current system, to sail.

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We will be running 2 sessions a year, each lasting 7 weeks. The first session each year will start April / May

We don’t expect children to have any previous experience, just an enthusiasm to learn to sail*. Sessions will take place from 1:30pm on Saturday afternoons for a duration of around 3 hours, followed by hot food in the club house. With the beach opposite and being surrounded by ice cream kiosks, we’re sure every child will love it. (*Children need to be at least 7 years old, be able to swim 25m with the use of a buoyancy aid, want to learn to sail and most importantly be confident in the water)

We are being supported by the International Optimist Class Association. There are over 150,000 Optimists being sailed worldwide and in the UK over 60% of our Olympic Gold Medal Sailors started in Optimists (including Sir Ben Ainslie). The courses follow their log books which are specific to the Optimist dinghy and perfectly suited to the age of the children involved.

Oppie Cadets is open to all children of LRSC Family Members.

Oppie Cadets is structured along the lines of the IOCA Grades (International Optimist Class Association). Start being the beginners Group, followed by Grades 1, 2 and 3. Following grade 3 they will move on to race group on a Saturday morning.

The Club provides 4 Oppies for Start Group. To progress to level 1 (Improvers which is also run on a Saturday afternoon) and beyond kids will need their own boat as the original boats will be used teaching the next group to sail. But with over 4000 Optimists currently being sailed in the UK there is a thriving second hand market and boats can be picked up from around £250. If your child enjoys the first few sessions and you are keen to carry on then we can help you look for a boat. A good resource of second hand Optimists can be found here

Please note that parents must remain on site and be responsible for their child at all times. But there are lots of things for you to get involved with – for example, helping launch and recover the boats, helping out with the food and drinks helping out afloat on the ribs and much more.

Course Fees: Children of Family Members: £40

If you are interested in joining then please contact Dave Stubbs who is organising the groups. Numbers are limited by the amount of boats that we have available (2 per boat). Places are issued on a first come first served basis.

If you are interested in joining there is now a long waiting list and places are issued on a first come first served basis. Please register your child for the course using the online form here

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