News NZ Captures First 30 years of Opti History – 1975 to 2005 in a New Book

NZ Captures First 30 years of Opti History – 1975 to 2005 in a New Book

1975–2005 The First Thirty Years Of Optis in New Zealand

The Optimist Class is New Zealand (NZIODA) is celebrating the first 30 years of Optimist History from 1975 to 2005 in a new book released only a few weeks ago.

"1975–2005 The First Thirty Years Of Optis in New Zealand is packed with essential info about the birth of our favourite little boats, the first arrivals in NZ, the early days of NZIODA, and how our favourite sailing class became a global phenomenon" as quoted from the NZIODA website. 

Written by Mike Judd in conjunction with NZIODA and Paul/ Pat Pritchett (First President and Secretary) they have completed the officially unofficial history of the Optimist Class in New Zealand from 1975 to 2005.  NZIODA wanted to preserve the history of Optimist sailing in New Zealand and what better way to make that happen than through producing this book.

An excerpt from the book:


“It was Clive Roberts, an OK world champion and NZ Finn Class international representative from one of New Zealand’s most respected yachting families in Takapuna who first spotted the potential of this little boat from Europe. He’d seen the boat while travelling, and just happened to be chairman of the Youth Committee of the New Zealand Yachting Federation.

Clive then got in discussions with Paul Pritchett (New Zealand International Optimist Dinghy Association (NZIODA) life member), a successful small boat sailor from Christchurch, about bringing the class to New Zealand. He was convinced there was a need in the country for a small boat that was easier to control than the traditional beginner’s boat in New Zealand – the P Class.

While staying with Clive and Bev Roberts, Paul and Bob Coultas (who were competing in the 1975 Flying Fifteen New Zealand National Championships in Auckland), talked over a vision for building and racing Optimists. Clive wanted every child in New Zealand to have the opportunity to have a boat and learn to sail. “

To continue to read this wonderful history, download the story of ‘how a $150 home-built boat in a spare bedroom in Christchurch in 1975 turned into a national institution’.

The link to the book can be found here

Enjoy the read!