FOR FUN, RECREATION, PERFECTION & RACING
O’pen Skiff celebrated its 10th birthday in 2016, along with the production of its 8,000th boat. Designed specifically for juniors, our little dinghy has blown a big breath of fresh air through our sailing world, close to the new-generation skiff concept, very fast and very simple. 100% open, self-bailing, rapid and responsive, with an up-to-date versatile rig, the O'pen Skiff offers kids a machine that delivers maximum fun while helping them learn the skills and reflexes to enjoy racing on current, high-performance equipment. Hundreds of sailing clubs around the world have opted for the O'pen BIC, for a new, fun way of teaching sailing to appeal to youngsters attracted to new sail sports.
The O’pen Skiff has also ruffled the feathers of the traditional race scene, with race formats and simplified rules that focus more on fun and improvement than just race results. Innovative courses and rules, on-water refereeing, and even freestyle encourage participation and a variety of sailing skills.
At international level, the class is more action-packed than ever, with an ever-increasing calendar of international regattas and events. This summer's World Championships in Quiberon, France, brought together 205 racers from 15 countries. Our best ever entry. In our homeland of Europe there are more and more participants and competitions : many nations are seeing a rapid growth of O'pen Skiff fleet and taking advantage of that dynamic to encourage more and more young converts to sailing.
Some of the national championships offer a totally innovative take on competition sailing. UN Regattas in America and Australia are great examples, mixing a cocktail of anything-goes freestyle sessions with classic regatta racing, with the emphasis on fun as well as finesse.
The aim of the International O’pen SkiffClass is to provide an exciting format of international and national dinghy sailing for young sailors. The steady annual growth of the Events’ Calendar is proof that the Class’s formula of providing exciting race formats on an attractive boat is a great success.
At present there are over 10 countries that have regular event calendars of national competitions, and the international World O’pen Cup is the pinnacle each year. The O’pen Cup event style is very original, with some highly innovative courses and race rules derived from funboarding, where races are short and quick, the course changes regularly and can include crosswind legs and freestyle moves or an adventure race, and protests are judged immediately out on the water so no racing time or effort is wasted!
These improvements are in line with ISAF’s Introductory Rules of Sailing, and are quite a break from the last 40 years of «classic» sailing. O’pen Cups are a cocktail of fun and pure regatta racing, great for motivating our young sailors and keeping them hooked for life! More information on the Class rules and on the various regattas worldwide can be found on the Class website.