New optimist fleet for Mozambique

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New optimist fleet for Mozambique

New optimist fleet for Mozambique

The Mozambique Sailing Federation, established in early 2010, has placed an order for 15 Optimists, the first in the country since independence in 1975.

While there had been earlier plans to try to restore some of these ancient boats, the real impetus came from the decision in March by the African Sailing Confederation that the Optimist would be included in the multisport All-Africa Games next September.

“ancient boats” that will be replaced by the new fleet of GRP Optimists

An introduction by ISAF vice-president Teresa Lara led IODA to write immediately to MSF president José Luis Alcantara Santos with an offer to fund three Optimists if the federation would buy 15. A favourable quotation was obtained from Chinese builder Zou Inter Marine. All felt that it was important both that potential participants in the Games had modern equipment for training and that work should start on building towards a legacy of viable fleets after the event.

Governments worldwide move slowly and delays were caused by the need to get exemption from import and other taxes. Mozambique is by no means unique in facing the situation whereby money given by the Ministry of Sport is then taken back in taxes by the Ministry of Finance! The problem was finally resolved in December and the boats should be delivered in February 2011. At that point IODA will arrange and finance a training course for local instructors.

The Federation is expecting to add to this fleet by retaining at least 25 of the Optimists which will be imported specially for use at the Games themselves. At least 12 countries are expected to participate, seven of which have received IODA grants in recent years.

IODA has several other “6 for 5” projects at the planning stage and further applications are invited from qualifying organisations see:

| IODA Development |