64 sailors – 16 nations from four continents – 124 matches in a closely-fought 10th edition of the Monaco Optimist Team Race.
Finalists last year, the Turkish team 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 Turkish team (2-1) after the Monegasques won the first race.
The combative Swedish and American teams shared third place.
For a decade the Yacht Club de Monaco has hosted an original team race contest for under-14 sailors from all over the world.
Organised as duels for teams of four Optimists, supplied by boatbuilder Erplast, it highlights the tactical and technical skills of these budding young sailors, many of whom could go on to represent their countries in future international competitions and the Olympics.
At the end of a Round Robin totalling 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.
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 metres before the finish line.
In the final the Monegasques won the first race, but the Turkish team came back strongly to take a 2 to 1 victory.
Monaco Optimist Team Race podium for 2019
1st – ARM Urla Sailing Club (TUR)
2nd – Yacht Club de Monaco (MON)
3rd – KSSS – Royal Swedish Yacht Club (SWE)
3rd – Team USA