Jul 17, 2018 Boat World

The O-Pro featured in Boating NZ a few months ago – where the conventional Optimist dinghy received a major performance upgrade with a streamlined, clip-on bow and bigger sail – is now making waves in Europe.

Professional sailor Matt Mason – who developed the concept – says the O-Pros are already being sailed in Denmark, Austria and the Netherlands. Matt is visiting Europe to explore the establishment of production facilities, a move designed to eliminate shipping costs. The clip-on bows are currently being manufactured in Asia.

“We’re very enthusiastic about the O-Pro’s European reception. People see it as a logical, easy extension of the Optimist – for a minimal cost. The fact that the transformation kit turns the Opti into a two-child yacht seems to be particularly appealing.”

In most European countries, he points out, kids go straight from the Optimist into the Laser 4.7 – a fairly significantly leap in both costs and skills. The O-Pro conveniently bridges the gap.

Several New Zealand clubs have also expressed interest in rebuilding their Optimist fleets for next season.

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