Please select your home edition
Edition
Sunsail 2018 January Leaderboard

A Scandinavian victory at Monaco Optimist Team Race

by Isabelle Andrieux 14 Jan 20:16 GMT 11-14 January 2018
Monaco Optimist Team Race © Yacht Club de Monaco

Monaco, Sunday 14th January 2018. The curtain fell on the ninth Monaco Optimist Team Race organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco with support from FxPro, Eventica, Fon and clothing supplier SLAM.

For YCM General Secretary, Bernard d'Alessandri, it was an event "that kicked-off the new year in style and gave the youngest an opportunity to show-off their talent as racers."

Sixty-four contestants divided into 16 teams from 16 nations put on a show in the main harbour, Port Hercule, amidst the yachts. An original match race for under-14s, it promotes team-work and hosts the most competitive clubs, with Oman Sails making its first appearance along with a group from the Punta del Este Yacht Club in Uruguay, and national teams from Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium and Norway.

Match races for teams of four Optimists tested the technical, tactical and team spirit qualities to the limit, with 150 races completed in light winds, with no respite during the war of nerves that competitors were engaged in.

Turks pull off a surprise

In the final few hours it was all change at the top of a leaderboard dominated for the last three days by the Swedes from KSSS, current European Team Racing Champions. It was another Scandinavian team who chased them off the podium's top step to win the event, the Finns from Helsingfors Segelklubb HSK. "We were really surprised to win," said Ellen, one of the team. "We didn't expect it at all, particularly given the high level. Also, for two of us it was our last Optimist regatta, so it was the best way to say goodbye to this class."

But it was the Turkish team from the ARM Urla Sailing Club who pulled off the biggest surprise, clawing their way back up the table to finish second. It was a big disappointment for the KSSS team who ended third, followed by the Belgians in fourth just ahead of the Monegasque team of Lucas Frederiksen, Mathieu Choquet, François Lamy and Leonardo Bonelli, who fell at the fence in the semi-finals to the Turkish team.

In the name of performance

Prior to the regatta, youngsters from Monaco, Russia, Croatia and Uruguay benefited from two intensive days of training at an International Clinic run by Chris Atkins, World Sailing's world-renowned Team Race specialist. It was an opportunity to get professional advice in their preparations for the matches ahead. "It's great to see these sailors, who may be very young but have nothing to envy of older more experienced sailors. They are competitive, they didn't let go until the end, they just wanted to learn. When you love passing on your passion, it's the best audience you could have," concluded the pro, delighted to be at the YCM again. A sentiment shared by Alfredo Ricci, PRO and Team Race specialist, "The level is there, the concentration also, and the conditions allowed sailors to compete hard in terms of strategy and control. Here's to the next edition which will the 10th anniversary of this meeting."

They created a buzz

For the first time since the launch of this event, the YCM set-up a competition aimed at rewarding contestants' enthusiasm on social networks (Facebook and Instagram), with support from Optimist and Catamaran designer-builders Erplast. Congratulations to the Belgian team who distinguished themselves in this initiative.

In the name of sport

During the prize-giving, small "White Cards" were given to all competitors by Peace and Sport representatives. It is a symbol of peace and purity as opposed to the red card so widely used in sport and synonymous with serious misconduct. "Sport is not just about competition," notes Joel Bouzou, President and Founder of Peace and Sport. "It's also about exchanges. That's why sport has this ability to attract crowds all over the world. In this sense, sport is a fantastic tool for promoting peace".

Meanwhile, there is no let up for the Yacht Club de Monaco as it prepares for Act VI of the Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series, 19-21 January with the J/70 class taking centre stage.

Final rankings Monaco Optimist Team Race:

First: Helsingfors Segelklubb HSK, (FIN)
Second: ARM Urla Sailing Club, (TUR)
Third: KSSS – Royal Swedish Yacht Club, (SWE)

Related Articles

Interislander Optimist & Starling Regatta overall
A challenging final day on Marlborough Sounds Day 3 certainly made the past two days like a piece of cake. With the cyclone looming not far off the day started out with a glassy Marlborough Sounds. Posted on 19 Feb
Crown Series Bellerive Regatta final summary
Just two points separate the top two boats This year's Banjo's Shoreline Crown Series Bellerive Regatta on Hobart's River Derwent has again underlined the depth of sailing talent in Tasmania's most popular junior and youth off-the-beach classes. Posted on 19 Feb
Crown Series Bellerive Regatta dinghy update
Just three points separate the top three 29er skiffs after four races Just three points separate the top three 29er skiffs after four races today in the Banjo's Shoreline Bellerive Regatta, with similar close competition in other off-the-beach classes contesting the regatta. Posted on 18 Feb
Interislander Optimist & Starling Regatta day 2
Three more races sailed for all the fleets in Picton Day 2 of the Interislander Optimist & Starling Regatta at Queen Charlotte Yacht Club again saw Race Officer Gerry get it all in the bag. Three races sailed for the 2 flights of the Optimist Open fleet and the Starling fleet. Posted on 17 Feb
Interislander Optimist & Starling Regatta day 1
Over 140 young sailors taking part in Picton The pre-Nats opened with a big bang of the club cannon. Over one hundred Opti sailors hit the water plus over 40 Starling sailors. Three races were sailed for the Interislander Optimist Challenge & Port Marlborough Starling Championship. Posted on 16 Feb
International Optimist Regatta registration open
Caribbean event kicks off with equally not-to-miss TOTE Maritime Clinic Registration is open now for the International Optimist Regatta (IOR), presented by EMS (Electronic Merchant Systems) Virgin Islands. Posted on 9 Feb
InterIslander Optimist Challenge preview
Queen Charlotte YC looking forward to hosting the event this month On 16 to 18 February the InterIslander Optimist Challenge & Port Marlborough Starling championship once again takes over the Picton Harbour waters. Posted on 5 Feb
The experts share their most loved moments
Talking to the Gill Race Team members We asked some of the Gill Race Team members about their most loved moments in sailing. Here's what they had to say. Posted on 4 Feb
Boat and board boost
For up and coming North East talent Two aspiring young sailors from the North East region will be training hard for the coming season following a huge boost to their on-the-water ambitions, thanks to a partnership between the John Merricks Sailing Trust and the RYA's OnBoard scheme. Posted on 12 Jan
Monaco Optimist Team Race preview
A regatta without borders Without a doubt, 2018 is the 'Year of Regattas' at the Yacht Club de Monaco, as the one-design winter training base awaits the arrival of some 250 competitors of all ages in January. Posted on 10 Jan