The Turkish team is the winner of the 14th Optimist Team Race held over four days in Monaco. Trained by Alican Selcik and Gokhan Durkal of the Turkish Sailing Federation, the team of four stood up against Spain and ended up at the top of the ranking. Third place was won by the Croatian team, which won the competition last year.
“Derin (14), Eren (10), Erkut (12), and Ariela (13) have been sailing together for three years. It’s a young team but also a very strong one. They have been learning and improving. The race level here is very high and we’re very happy to have won,” said Selcik.
The international meeting, organised by the Yacht Club de Monaco, involved eighteen international teams of four, for 72 under-14 sailors in total. The aim is to test young people’s mastery of the team race format, which requires total concentration, precision, seamless communication and mastery of team match racing rules.
“When you see all these children that have been sailing for many years, the first thought is that they’re the future of sailing. We have a way of work that goes through sea education, to learn the respect of the sea. I’m sure that among the children that you see here today there are some of the sailors of the future America’s Cup editions or other important regattas. We already have the example of some children who took part in the competition and then went on well in the world of sailing,” said Olivier Campana, YCM deputy director.
Organised in duels between two teams, it is like a ballet on water with well over 150 of these match race duels scheduled over the four days, giving all teams a chance to compete against each other. USA, Sweden, Uruguay, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, France, UK and Monaco were all represented.
The competition had the support of Monaco Marine, FxPro, sailing gear supplier Slam, the Erplast boatyard and Peace and Sport.
“The Monaco Optimist Team Race represents much more than just a competition. It is a celebration of team spirit and discipline. It is a unique opportunity for young sailors to develop their skills while creating links with sailors from all over the world,” said Bernard d’Alessandri, Secretary General of the Yacht Club of Monaco.
The Team Race format will once again be at the heart of the Yacht Club de Monaco program with the holding of the Optimist European Team Racing Championship (October 15-20, 2024).
ORIGINAL SOURCE & PHOTO: Monaco Yacht Club