Our main fundraising event annually is The Great Optimist Race.  40 Optimists participated in the inaugural event, held during the 2018 Cape Town International Boat Show.

The format is as follows:

  • Many of the Optimists are sponsored by a company
  • Most Optimists sail to raise money for a charity of their choice
  • A Minimum of 20 Optimists will be sailed by either a Survivor, a Champion of Industry or Celebrity as skipper.

The 2018 event was an overwhelming success despite a few logistical challenges. We have already put plans in place for 2019 to make this an event better, bigger and more fantastic! The interest has been phenomenal. To relive the magic, click here.

In 2018 we raised close to R250 000 through sponsorship to purchase, upgrade and repurpose dinghies for a new sailing academy. We also raised R100 000 for our charities, which included NSRI, Sharkspotters, Newborns Trust, Two Oceans Aquarium and The Little Optimist Trust.  This year we plan to raise R500 000 for charity.

We also hosted a number of events for our social partners and NPOs: Reach for a Dream, 9 Miles Project and Lawhill Academy.  We aim to make this a bigger part of what we do in 2019 and going forward. We will teach, inspire and give more underprivileged and sick kids a sailing experience, hope, passion and new skills this year.

The Great Optimist Race received PR Coverage to the value of R4.3 Million. Highlights included television coverage on Espresso TV and ENCA TV, and our partnership with Cape Talk Radio to publicise the event. In addition, the event received social media coverage, as well as publicity in Newspapers, Magazines, Radio and on line in the run -up to the main event by way of a number of Great Optimist Race – related activities.  (see PR report)