A wing-masted Optimist was given a spin last weekend by New Zealand national champ Leonard Takahashi-Fry in a photoshoot for Japanese journalist Yoichi Yabe of Kazi Magazine. Takahashi-Fry dominated the regatta, winning six of the 12 races scored and placing 2nd another five times. His father is Robert Fry, a member of the Nippon Challenge for the America’s Cup in 1992 and 95.
The wingsail Opti was inspired by dinghy sailors from the Wakatere Boating Club. Mike Drummond and his partners on the Oracle Racing Design Team adapted the top section of an A Class rig to the Opti. “The top section of our A-class catamaran wing is removable, and about the same size as an Opti rig. It was very easy to add a standard Opti mast tube to be able to step it into a normal Opti,” says Drummond.