(Revised on March 1st, 2020)
Sue Holloway reports this amazing news for Junior Sailing:
The 2019 Opti North American Championships were held in Nassau in late September, and two of our HTJS kids sailed on the Bahamas National Team. The OPTINAM organizers, the sailing teams from around the world, and the Bahamas Sailing Association all wanted to show their support for Hope Town, which had lost so much in the hurricane.
As a result, Hope Town Junior Sailing has received word that six new Optis are waiting in Nassau for delivery to Hope Town. Robert Dunkley, Director of the Bahamas National Sailing School, reported:
"Through donations from the various teams and assistance from BSA, we have secured 6new boats for Hope Town Junior Sailing, fully equipped with blades, spars, sails, lines, and dollies - all ready to be sailed. The Japanese donated the sails which are slightly used race sails. We have put these in storage in a container and when your club is ready for them, we will ship them to you."
This a wonderful news, and a testament to the close-knit sailing community not just in the Bahamas, but around the world.
Below is a link to the fantastic Scuttlebutt article about the Opti North Americans that were held in late September, and what the participating countries did to help the affected Bahamian sailors and their junior sailing programs. HTSC members’ donations over the years have made a program that a hurricane can't knock down!
Below is the Facebook video of Jasmin, Maison, and Rhiannon being interviewed at the OPTINAM Championship Races, for the Nassau Guardian:
PRE-Dorian.....The organizing committee of OPTINAM, Bahamas National Sailing School and Nassau Yacht Club all wish to extend our best wishes for the safety of our national sailing community and all Bahamians during the forthcoming hurricane Dorian. Three of our Team Bahamas members reside in Abaco and, furthermore, we understand that Rhiannon Thomas (Bahamas Team Leader for Optinam) along with Jasmin Aberle (our top female Opti sailor) and Maison Koepke are staying in Hope Town (Elbow Cay) this weekend, which is currently in the direct storm path. Stay safe all.
After Dorian devastated the Abacos, the OPTINAM Bahamas team in Nassau pitched in and gathered supplies to help out!
Previous HTJS newsletters can be found at www.hopetownjuniorsailing.com