20-22 January 2012
Monaco, 22 January 2012 – The third edition of the Monaco Optimist Team Racing regatta, organised in collaboration with Slam, FxPro and Chocolaterie de Monaco, attracted 12 teams of four representing eight nations.
“I am a big fan of the Team Racing format, as it combines values which are part of our sports and educational policy. I welcome the development of this sport. For teenagers who regularly sail solo, this discipline encourages teamwork and is the first step towards racing as part of a crew,”
After two days of intensive training mid-week on brand new Optimists provided by Erplast, no less than 42 races were run over the weekend to determine a winning team from among the 48 competitors. Aged 12 to 15, they were under the watchful eye of an international jury comprising Alfredo Ricci and Bruce Hebbert, two top specialists in this discipline.
The number of boats on the water was at its highest throughout the 30 ten-minute races of the first elimination round, with a departure every three minutes, monitored by two race officials on the water to ensure compliance with the regulations.
In the final analysis it was the three most experienced teams, namely the Irish from the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the Italians from Lake Garda and the Swiss from the Gstaad Yacht Club, joined by rank outsiders the Tunisians, who qualified for the final sessions on the Sunday. The tension was palpable in the nail-biting semi-finals, as for example in the race which pitted the Fraglia Vella Desenzano Italians against the Tunisian Sailing Federation’s contestants. It took all the jury’s expertise to decide between the teenagers, already masters of the intricacies of team racing, sometimes covering their opponents and forcing an error, while fully in control of their own manoeuvres. Hard-fought duels and solidarity were in evidence on the water.
The final battle between the Gstaad team and the Lake Garda Italians saw victory go to the Swiss, who were delighted to be sailing in such mild Mediterranean conditions in the middle of winter.
Intense competition on the water was matched by an excellent atmosphere ashore, with the Yacht Club de Monaco organising several fun events, such as the Pasta Party and chocolate tasting session, generously put on by the Chocolaterie de Monaco. The social, educational and sporting aspect of the event was much appreciated by HSH Princess Charlene, who dropped in to encourage the youngsters on the opening day.
1. Gstaad Yacht Club (SUI)
2. Fraglia Vela Desenzano (ITA)
3. Fédération Tunisienne de Voile (TUN)
4. Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL)
5. Société Nautique de Genève (SUI)
6. Yacht Club Italiano (ITA)
7. Sea Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg (RUS)
8. Yacht Club Sanremo (ITA)
9. Clube Naval de Cascais (POR)
10. Circolo della Vela Sicilia (ITA)
11. Yacht Club de Monaco (MON)
12. Yacht Club Pionierski (POL/RUS)