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18 February 2002, 12:28 pm
Production Should Start Mid February
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Optimist Worlds 2001

Optimists To Be Built In Australia

They may be bluff-bowed and only 8ft long but Optimist dinghies are the future of international junior sailing in Australia, says AYF/AIS head coach Victor Kovalenko.
And such is Victor's enthusiasm for the international trainers that Kulmar Boat Builders in Sydney have tooled up to build them for the first time in Australia.

The first production boat is due to be launched mid February. An international measurer will then fly to Australia to perform the strict one-design checks before a licence is granted. Builder Paul Kulmar plans to build 130 boats a year, pricing them below the AUS$4000 mark.

Victor's "optimism" stems from the fact that the class is sailed by about 150,000 young people in some 100 countries and more than half the dinghy skippers at the Sydney Olympics were former Optimist sailors.
Mark Rothfield/News Editor
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