Four young sailors have launched a campaign on local crowdfunding platform ZAAR, to raise funds to enable them to compete in the 2018 Optimist World Championships as Team Malta.
The team is set to compete against 258 sailors from 55 nations in the major sailing championships that will take place in Limassol, Cyprus, between 26 August and 6 September 2018.
The four sailors – Richard Schultheis, Saul Vassallo, Nico Dreschner and Antonio Gasperini – who are all aged between 12 and 14 years old, are members of the Malta Young Sailors Club and have already undergone extensive training and competed in a number of national ranking regattas to earn the privilege of representing Malta in the major world championships.
“At the 2018 Optimist World Championships, we would be competing against the top five ranking optimist sailors from every country in the world,” says Saul. “Unfortunately, we do not get much funding, so we usually have to fund ourselves. This year, we have set up a crowdfunding campaign on ZAAR to ask for financial help, and we really appreciate any support in getting us there. We are hoping to make Malta – and everyone in it – very proud.”
Practicing all year round and participating in intensive monthly international training camps and regattas, two of the four boys have already recently won Gold and Bronze at this year’s ‘Jeux des Isles’ Island Games. The sailors are now confident that their prospects for attaining top positions in the Optimist World Championships are high, making sailing history for Malta and for local sailing clubs.
The optimist sailing class is aimed specifically at youths under 15, who single-handedly operate a small, one-design boat not larger than 2.5 metres in length. Optimist dinghy sailing is one of the most competitive classes of sailing there is, with numerous international regattas held monthly worldwide and many Olympic sailors, including Ben Ainslie, starting their careers in the prestigious Optimist World Championships.
Through the crowdfunding campaign, this year’s Malta Team is seeking to raise €10,000 to cover the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms and participation, as well as chartering the boats at the World Championships. Although the team already has one backer, The Jarhead Young Sailors Foundation, they recognise that it will be donations from supporters via the ZAAR campaign that will make the difference in their venture.
Backers who donate via ZAAR can expect to receive rewards based on the amount donated, from mentions on the team’s social media pages to full corporate sponsorship campaigns.
Visitors are invited to visit here to make a donation or for further information about the Malta Optimist Team crowdfunding campaign.