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13 December 2001, 08:10 pm
Optimist Dinghy Designer Passes Away
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Clark Mills, the designer of the Optimist dinghy, died in Florida, USA on Tuesday 11 December, aged 86.

His influence on the sailing world is inestimable. 113,000 official Optimists have been built since the Class became international in 1973: if one counts the boats built in the years 1947 to 1973 and all the rough copies produced over the years, maybe half a million boats have been built around Clark's concept.

Let the last word remain with him: "A boat, by God, its just a gleamin' beautiful creation. And when you pull the sail up on a boat, you've got a little bit of really somethin' God-given. Man, it goes bleetin' off like a bird wing, you know, and there's nothin' else like it."
Robert Wilkes/News Editor
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