News Optis for Optimism - Invitation to Assist our Sister Sailing Nation in Need

Optis for Optimism - Invitation to Assist our Sister Sailing Nation in Need

All  of you are well aware of the utter and practically complete destruction of the Islands of Abaco and Grand Bahamas.  While life as they know it has been eradicated, the spirit of the Bahamian people has not been broken. They will rebuild. 

Our global sailing community is in a unique position to assist them.  We believe deeply in the value of kids having a focus, and have seen firsthand the countless positives that children gain through the sport of sailing. 

While rebuilding their opti fleets is not the priority at the moment, as people need food, water and shelter, there soon will be a focused effort to get back to some kind of normalcy.  Kids will need school and to return to the activities that give them purpose and propel them to learn skills that enable them to be the next leaders and contributors in their communities. 

And this is where we can help.

We are inviting the countries participating in the 2019 Optimist North American Championship, fortunate enough to enjoy the warm and generous culture of the Bahamas and the openness of their people, to consider sponsoring a fully equipped Opti to help these islands rebuild their fleets when the time is right.

McLaughlin Boat Works has graciously agreed to provide fully kitted boats for a discounted price 2000 USD (250 USD to cover shipping). The Bahamas Sailing Federation will store the boats until Abaco Grand Bahama are ready to use them and will ship the first batch of boats to Long Island to restart their fleet decimated by Hurricane Joaquin 2 years ago.

As we are 20 countries strong participating in the NAMs, we can really make a difference here, a difference in a unique way, consistent with our values by restoring a little bit of normalcy that will deliver much needed optimism for great kids in incredibly resilient communities

We want to thank sailors, parents, friends and national Optimist classes of Canada, Cayman Islands, Mexico, Switzerland, and US Virgin Islands for each already sponsoring a boat and the United States for sponsoring two boats! Their amazing generosity by supporting this project is making possible the shipment of the first 7 boats with their resepctive sponsoring country flags to Long Island. Thank you!!

We also want to thank Spencer Wiberley of McLaughlin Boat Works for his continuous support to the Optimist Class.

Let us know if you are interested in participating in this fabulous initiative. Thank you!

Donna Graham ( and Sigrid Beckmann (