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11th Monaco Optimist Team Race at Yacht Club de Monaco starts tomorrow

by Isabelle Andrieux 8 Jan 20:35 GMT 9-12 January 2020
Monaco Optimist Team Race © Yacht Club de Monaco

For four days the team racing elite in the Optimist class will battle it out for supremacy at the Yacht Club de Monaco in the 11th Monaco Optimist Team Race. This year, for the first time since its launch, there will be 20 teams from 20 countries in competition.

"This international event for budding young sailors is part of our Monaco: Capital of Yachting project, as being a destination that attracts high-level competitions and sailors from all over the world," explains Yacht Club de Monaco General Secretary, Bernard d'Alessandri.

An original format, it enables participants to compete on equal terms in the form of duels. The round-robin phase when all teams meet each other is followed by the quarter- then semi- then finals which are the highlight of the event. For all contestants the over-riding goal is to help their team win as many matches as possible to stay at the top of the leader board.

Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco with support from FxPro, Eventica, Fon, clothing supplier SLAM and the Erplast boatyard, the Monaco Optimist Team Race has become a benchmark for young teams from all over the world.

Since 2009, this winning formula continues to appeal as evidenced by the attendance this year of 80 under-14s from Russia (Kaliningrad Yacht Club), Uruguay (Yacht Club Punta del Este) and China with a team from the Visun Royal Yacht Club.

A warm-up worthy of the occasion

To prepare for the event, six teams (Germany, Ukraine, China, The Netherlands, France and Monaco) seized the opportunity to take part in a Clinic that started Monday 6th January to the Wednesday evening. Led by Chris Atkins, a world expert in team racing, the Clinic comprises three days of intensive training on team-work, communication and consistency.

Destination China with the Visun Royal Yacht Club

Under the aegis of the YCM's La Belle Classe Destinations, a Chinese team will be on the start of the Monaco Optimist Team Race for the second year running.

Last year, four heats were organised at four venues in Xiamen, Shenzen, Suzhou and Sanya attracting no less than 200 Chinese youngsters. At the end of each regatta, the first 12 were entitled to go on to the final heat held August 2019 in Sanya at the Visun Royal Yacht Club, a La Belle Classe Destinations member. This last regatta was key as it determined who would be heading to the Principality a few months later.

This year, Lu Saiya, Chen Nan (Ironrock Sailing Club - Xiamen), Chen Qiyun (Fuzhou DH Yo Sailing Club - Fuzhou) and Luo Tianxuan (Visun Royal Yacht Club - Hainan) will be among those taking part in the 2020 Monaco Optimist Team Race.

The Yacht Club de Monaco and Visun Royal Yacht Club intend to ramp-up their collaboration as this year the Monegasque team as well as the finalists of the 11th edition will be invited to the Visun Royal Yacht Club in August 2020 to compete as guests in the national heats for the 2021 MOTR. A real privilege!

MOTR programme (subject to change):

Thursday 9th January
8.30-10.00am: Registration
9.30am: Opening Ceremony
12 noon: First warning signal of the day

Friday 10th January
9.00am: Briefing
10.00am: First warning signal of the day
After racing: Debriefing

Saturday 11th January
9.00am: Briefing
10.00am: First warning signal of the day
After racing: Debriefing

Sunday 12th January
9.00am: Briefing
10.00am: First warning signal of the day
4.00pm: Prize-giving

More information at

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