It was very windy last Sunday afternoon on The Great South Bay in Bellport, Long Island, and out in full force were the fleet of “Opti” sailboats, or “Optimists” as they are formally called. Optis are the most sailed single class boat. They are used to teach kids to sail and thus are also the biggest youth racing class of sailboat. While younger sailors begin in Optimists, competitive sailors usually continue to race them up to 14 or 15 years of age. Due to their inherent stability, robust construction and relatively small sails, these little boats can handle winds of up to 30 knots and so seemingly can these impressive young sailors!
Formed in 1999, the Bellport Bay Sailing Foundation teaches the sport of sailing to children and adults; promotes an awareness of the long and rich tradition of sailing on Bellport Bay; and supports the preservation of the environment and nautical heritage of the community.