Where MOT orginated
MOT was formed in the 1990s in recognition that across the Midlands there were many sailing clubs, each with only a small number of junior sailors.
At their own clubs, these sailors could only progress so far - to make any further progress they needed the opportunity to sail and be coached in larger groups than were available at their home clubs.
MOT filled this need until 2015 when as an organisation it ceased to exist and the training is now provided by IOCA Midland area. We do not replace a young sailors home club, but provide an improved opportunity for them to train with their peers on a regular basis.
The training operates with no distinction whatsoever on any
grounds of race, religion, gender or social background. We require
a minimum sailing standard (based on achievement of a national
standard known as RYA level 2) which means that the sailor should
be confident sailing a triangular course involving tacking and
gybing and be able to recover from a capsize. But this apart,
membership would only be denied to someone on the grounds of gross
misconduct. We aim to keep our costs as low as possible to avoid
excluding sailors on the grounds of ability to pay, whilst
recognising that there is a cost to providing high level
We are always conscious that there are implicit dangers in any sporting activity that involves the use of water. Safety is of paramount concern. We ensure that adults involved in leading activities have adequate personal experience to make informed decisions about safety as necessary.
We are also sensitive to the need to provide a safe environment for the young people. It is expected that parents or guardians remain present with their charges, or make private arrangements with other parents to provide local supervision. As a part of IOCA, the National Association for this type of dinghy, we follow their procedures including the child protection policy.
Within this framework of values, our aim is to help each young sailor develop his or her full potential within the Optimist class.
MOT was a very successful organisation, and many of the values and qualities were adopted by IOCA when setting up area training. Now as a part of IOCA, we will continue to provide the same level of training with the same values and look forward to more success.
Many MOT sailors have achieved places in the National Optimist Squad over the years - some 15% of National Squad members were MOT sailors in one year. In 2011 we had four sailors in the top 20 of the UK rankings, including the top ranked UK sailor, along with the winner of the 2012 British National and Open Championship. Several have gone on to represent their country in Optimists and other classes. Since the introduction of the RYA Zone Squads, MOT sailors frequently formed the large majority of the West and North Squads. Quite apart from the sailors who have achieved national recognition, there are many other MOT sailors who have become better club sailors as a result of MOT involvement, forming good friendships and sailing partnerships with sailors from other clubs, and who have increased their personal confidence and enjoyment in sailing.