High level young navigators from the world over
The 10th Monaco Optimist Team Race, organised by the Yacht Club of Monaco with the support of FxPro, Eventica, Fon, technical clothing supplier SLAM and Erplast, run from January 10-13, 2019. This decade old regatta of Optimists, a small one-design one-person dinghy, gathered the next generation of 64 under-14 sailors, grouped in 16 top level teams high-level representing 16 nations from 4 continents, in 124 highly competitive matches over four days.
“The event is at the heart of our vision to position the Principality as world capital of yachting and continues to develop, as evidenced by the international field this year from four continents. Four days of racing and sharing experiences around the values sport can bring to the new generation,” commented YCM General Secretary, Bernard d’Alessandri.
Chinese, Americans, South Africans, Uruguayans, and representing several countries in Europe made the trip to the Principality to participate in this important race, organized as duels for teams of 4 Optimists. The race highlights the tactical and technical skills of the young sailors, many of whom could go on to represent their countries in future international competitions as well as the Olympics.
And then there were only four left in the semis
At the end of a Round Robin totaling 120 matches to ensure all teams got to meet each other, four teams made it into the semi-finals: the American national team, 2017 World Champions who were competing here for the first time; KSSS, Sweden, 2018 European Champions; the Turkish ARM Urla Sailing Club; and the Yacht Club de Monaco who finished at the top of the qualifying stages with only one defeat in 15 matches. “Wow – a very high level! I have not seen a regatta of this quality for many years,” enthused the highly experienced international umpire, Piero Occhetto.
Face off between Turks and Monegasques
In the final stages, it took two wins out of three matches in each of the finals to decide between the teams, with each match going down to the wire in the last 10 meters before reaching the finish line. Finalists last year, the Turks again booked their ticket for the finals. They faced the Monegasques who created the surprise of the event with a young team not very experienced in the highly tactical skills required for team racing. It was a close-run finish between the two with victory going to the Turks (2-1) after the Monegasques won the first race.
“I am so proud of our sailors. They put into practice all they’d learned in the training sessions organized before the regatta. Highly motivated on their home turf, they really surpassed themselves. It bodes well for the upcoming season,” said the delighted Monegasque coach, Margaux Meslin. The combative Swedish and American teams shared 3rdplace.
Four teams climbed the 2019 Podium (Photo: @Mesi_bd)
1. ARM Urla Sailing Club (TUR)
2. Yacht Club de Monaco (MON)
3. KSSS – Royal Swedish Yacht Club (SWE) & Team USA
Fostering peace through sports
As well as the sports aspect, this event is a great opportunity to bring young sailors together to share their passion for sailing and their cultures. During the price ceremony, the 64 youngsters brandished White Cards, the symbol of peace and solidarity through sports.
Mark your calendars
The Yacht Club de Monaco’s winter season continues with Act 4 of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, from January18-20 for the J/70s, followed by the 35thPrimo Cup – Credit Suisse Trophy, from February 7-10, 2019.
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realistic adjusts the sails.”William Arthur Ward