Volunteers are at the heart of all we do as a class association and underpin all the opportunities and support we provide for the children as they learn to sail and race together.

The success of Optimist sailing in the UK is due as much to the enthusiasm and dedication of our volunteers as it is to the skill, pluck and sense of fun of our young sailors. From Committee members to area representatives, from event co-ordinators to event volunteers, we couldn’t do it without you and your generous donation of time, ideas and experience – thank you. 

Benefits of volunteering....

Be close to the action: watch the sailors improve during a training session or the racing unfold

Rewarding: put your skills to use or learn new ones to broaden your experience

Sociable: it's fun to meet other parents and children from other parts of the country

Make a difference: be part of making the events happen and bring new ideas to make our events even better

Maintain contact with the class: it's not just parents that can help, we’re really keen to hear from older teenagers and young adults, especially ex-Oppie sailors, to come back to class events and help in some way. What better role model is there for the younger sailors?

How can I get involved?

Event Support Race Officers IOCA Committee

These varied roles are all essential to the safe and effective running of class events.

They range from towing a RIB to an event and providing safety cover at one end of the spectrum to helping the younger sailors as they launch and recover their boats at the other.

We always need help with race results - from recording them on the water, to entering them into the computer in the race office.

From helping on the registration desk at the start or an event to sorting the prizes out at the end, there is something for everyone.

These roles are often filled by non-parent volunteers but suitably experienced parents are very welcome to help.

We are fortunate to count some very experienced sailors and officials within our parent body and are keen draw on this expertise where we can

We are also keen to hear from race management experience at club level who are keen to gain experience at larger events.

Members, who are all volunteers, are elected at the AGM in November each year. Opportunities may arise throughout the year for individuals to be seconded to the committee to help with specific projects.

If you have a particular skill or experience which you think might be helpful to the aims of the class association then please get in touch, we’d be pleased to hear from you.

Juggling it all…

We understand it isn’t always easy being a parent of a young sailor, juggling it all. Simply getting a child, with their kit and boat to a training event or championship weekend can be a challenge in itself without committing to anything else. We all know the sense of relief and calm that comes from finally launching the boat and the need for parents to get a coffee and catch up with friends – these moments of downtime are important and very much the glue that keeps the class association together.

We also appreciate that not everyone is in a position to help, perhaps because they have another younger child in tow and that it isn’t reasonable to expect them to do anything more than bring and support a sailor. That’s all fine and we don’t want people to feel under pressure to help.

Things change from event to event and we know that some people may be able to volunteer at one event but not another, while others will be ‘regulars’ and feel able to commit over the course of the year. They key message is that all help is equally welcome and we’ll try to ensure that we provide a variety of roles to suit people’s varying circumstances, experience and areas of interest.

If you’d like any more information or to register your interest to volunteer please contact our volunteers officerWe’d love to hear from you.

Volunteers in action...

Class Sponsors

Gill marine