Bosham has a cracking Optimist fleet; one of the best in the country. We encourage youngsters to learn to sail in the Optimist and then to develop their skills, moving through the silver and gold racing fleets, before moving on to bigger boats. We offer training and courses to help to first learn to sail, then learn to race and finally to finesse your racing skills. Details of all training courses can be found on our training pages here. We recommend that children do not formally learn to sail via an RYA course until they are eight years old. In certain instances and at the Chief Instructor's discretion, it is possible to learn at seven.
Throughout the season we run racing specifically aimed at the Optimist fleet. This is held in the Cutmill 'pool' around high tide, which is an ideal area for young sailors to learn in quieter, safe tidal waters before venturing out into the busier waters of Chichester Harbour. The racing is held separately from the club racing so it's not too intimidating for young sailors. But we do use the proper committee boat, Glad Emma, so it is as real as possible. In addition to Optimist Cutmill racing we also run Optimist racing as part of the cadet Super Sunday events. These are shorter 'sprint' style races, also held in Cutmill, but with other cadet classes participating. The programme of all Optimist racing, training and social events can be found on our calendar here.
The Cutmill racing area offers spectating points from the public footpath north of Bosham. Of course the best place to spectate is on the water and we encourage all parents of racing cadets to volunteer for launching, race team or safety duty if their child is racing. Many parents help out multiple times. It is this level of volunteering commitment to your child's sailing that helps make Bosham so special. Members can volunteer for duties here.
Aside from the Cutmill series and Super Sundays, Optimists also race in Junior Regatta and the main club Regatta, pursuit races and the Optimist open meeting. But the racing highlight is Bosham Junior Week, traditionally held in early August. Six days of highly competitive racing and fun for all the family. The minimum age to participate in Bosham Junior Week is eight and sailors must complete a minimum of four races between the end of the previous year's Junior Week and the end of May half term in order to qualify to participate.
Paul Kameen is the Optimist class captain who can be contacted here.
Last updated 16:05 on 11 January 2023