In a large-scale and highly unusual collaborative charity event, up to 40 organisations are preparing to race around the waters of Cape Town’s iconic V&A Waterfront on October 19th in optimist boats (small dinghies usually sailed by children).
The Great Optimist Race is a highlight of this year’s Cape Town International Boat Show, and will see celebrities, captains of industry and medical survivors representing a chosen charity and then racing not only to the finish line, but also to raise the most funds for their cause.
The NGO’s participating include the NSRI, Children’s Hospital Trust, CANSA, 9 Miles Project, Sharkspotters and several others.
Springbok rugby player Scarra Ntubeni will be sailing for the Newborns Trust, for which he is an ambassador. Singer Craig Lucas has chosen the Justice Desk, while Majozi will be in the Paedspal boat. Double lung transplant survivor Tanya Bothma will be raising funds for organ donation, and amputee Caleb Swanepoel will sail for the Little Optimist Trust.
The Great Optimist Race, which is the brainchild of charity campaigner Greg Bertish, aims to raise R500 000 for the various charities involved, and will also provide sailing therapy sessions for children from Reach for a Dream, 9 Miles Project and Lawhill Maritime Society during the course of the boat show.
“Not only will we be giving skills and inspiration to marginalised children, we’ll also be teaching our celebrities and survivors how to sail these tiny little boats, all in the name of charity,” says Bertish.
The Cape Town International Boat show runs from 18-20 October this year. The Great Optimist Race will also be supported by The Little Optimist’s key sponsors – Two Oceans Marine, Italtile and Ullman Sails.
Aside from this event being a heart-warming story, it promises to be visually spectacular and a perfect opportunity for cameras to capture the sights and sounds of the boat show set against the backdrop of the beautiful Table Mountain.