Organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco another successful edition of the Monaco Optimist Team Race (MOTR) captured the sailing community’s attention this month.
This race has become an icon in the team event season. It is a unique occasion for under-14 sailors from all over the globe, including the Kaliningrad Yacht Club from Russia, to challenge each other on equal terms in duels. Monaco is an ideal venue for big regattas like this one and the Yacht Club clearly loves the format as team spirit is at the fore.
20 teams entered the competition from 19 nations represented by 80 young sailors, a record since the event launched in 2009.
Peace through sport
The MOTR is an occasion for competitors to get together and bond at the opening ceremony when everyone brandished a White Card as a sign of peace in the world. An initiative of Peace and Sport, chaired and founded by Joël Bouzou.
Winning as many matches as possible in the Round Robin is the first goal to display your team at the top of the Table prior to the quarter finals, semis and the much-awaited finals.
The exceptional conditions switching between 6-15 knots on a calm sea undoubtedly played a big role in the event’s success, enabling 207 duels to be completed without a pause over the four days of racing.
International Clinic warm-up
Before racing started some of the countries including Germany, Ukraine, China, The Netherlands, France and Monaco joined together in an International Clinic run by world team-race guru Chris Atkins.
Roller Coaster Excitement For The Monaco Team
The Monaco team was comprised of Noah Garcia, Leonardo Bonelli, and Alessandro and Matteo Asscher. At the end of the first day they were lying 4th behind the Finns but looked very sharp at one point rising to 3rd in the provisional ranking, before being pipped by the Ukrainians on the final day of the qualifying phase.
Americans Thirsty To Shine
Third last year, the American national team arrived focussed to monopolize the podium. And they piled up victories during the round robin phase, losing just two of their 19 contests , the rare two defeats being at the hands of the Yacht Club Italiano, and the Ukrainians from the Odessa Black Sea Yacht Club.
The Final Day
The Americans who had blitzed to the lead in the overall ranking during the round robin never yielded their first place even against fierce competition from the feisty Swedish team who were always in the chase. Monaco finally came up trumps and squeezed out the Ukrainians for a creditable 3rd place.
For the Winners China Beckons
Monaco Optimist Team Race 2020 podium:
1st: USA Optimist National Team (USA)
2nd: KSSS – Royal Swedish Yacht Club (SUE)
3rd: Yacht Club de Monaco (MON)
An exchange between Monaco and China sees these first three teams in the Monaco Optimist Team Race 2020 heading to Sanya in August 2020 to the Visun Royal Yacht Club, which is also a member of La Belle Classe Destinations, the YCM’s label of excellence for marinas and yacht clubs.