Ahoy matey – come sail with us!


Numerous studies in recent years have shown sailing to have a profound impact on mental health.

According to Dr Wallace Nichols, an award-winning marine biologist, the mere sight and sound of water can promote wellness by lowering cortisol (known as the stress hormone) levels in the body and boosting feel-good hormones such as serotonin.

In addition, Sports Medicine Weekly magazine writes that boating promotes physiological and psychological benefits that can help manage issues like trauma, grief, anxiety, sleep and more – highlighting just how beneficial sailing can be.

But don’t just take our word for it.

This weekend, Greg Bertish and his team at the Little Optimist Sailing Academy in conjunction with Sailing South Africa, invite you to bring the kids, cousins, aunts, and uncles and come experience sailing for yourself at the sailing clinic taking place at Boatica, Cape Town’s premium boat show at the V&A Waterfront.

You’ll have a chance to learn the ropes with a qualified instructor and cruise the magnificent waters around the marina in little yachts and a unique glass-bottomed optimist boat. All donations will go to the rehabilitation of turtles and marginalised children.

If you’re there on Saturday, why not stay and cheer on the celebrities and survivors who’ll be participating in The Great Optimist Race In Conjunction with Boatica?

This annual spectacle is back after a break due to Covid and it’s going to be water guns blazing from the word go, as the likes of big wave surfer Matt Bromley, adventurer and author Riaan Manser, and Talk Show host Pippa Hudson battle it out for first prize, while they tally up the donations generated towards charities of their choice.

Founder of the Little Optimist Trust and Sailing Academy Greg Bertish says, “We run year-round sailing programmes for disadvantaged, sick, and vulnerable children, and the difference just one lesson can make in a child’s life is remarkable.

We see children who’ve never been on or in water, who are really afraid, and after one morning they are confident and smiling. It’s such a healthy boost for their self-esteem and gives them a massive sense of accomplishment. We also offer birthday parties and team building. But we’d love the public to come out and support us this weekend at Boatica. I promise they won’t be disappointed”.

Boatica will be running from Friday 28 October to Sunday 30 October. You can book tickets on Howler or visit the website for more information.

To learn more about the Little Optimist Sailing Academy in Battery Park, visit their website.

Picture: Cape {town} Etc gallery