Harken Derm

Twenty-four teams in Optimist Team Race Championship

Published on July 20th, 2018

Pensacola, FL (July 20, 2018) – With six days of racing to determine the 2018 Optimist US National Champion and 2018 Optimist Girls US National Champion in the books, the sailing marathon on the blue waters of Pensacola Bay continued today with the first of three days of Team Racing on the menu. The 2018 Optimist Team Race US Championship officially opened.

Twenty-four teams took to the water this afternoon and racing got underway at about 1:30p on two courses with 12 teams on each. In the Stage 1 Round-Robins each course will sail 66 races, if all goes as planned. Then the top six teams on each course will move into the Gold Fleet Qualifying Round-Robins, the bottom six go into the Silver Fleet Qualifying Round-Robins. Time permitting, each fleet will sail knockout matches to determine final rankings.

On Day 1 each course got in 53 matches, so the Qualifying Round robins will continue Saturday. The fleet will be divided into Gold and Silver groups after 66 races

Comprised of 24 teams with four boats racing in each match, team racing is an innovative and highly tactical competition that pushes and tests these young sailors in every aspect of sailing – it’s not simply a matter of sailing fast and efficient. Two teams face off against each other and employ a strategy to achieve the lowest score possible in order to advance, but no strategy ever survives the first contact on the racecourse. Team Racing requires an immense amount of skill and teamwork in real time while utilizing the current conditions on the water to emphasize the strengths of your teammates and attempting to negate those of their opponent.

Team Race National Championship Principal Race Officer (PRO) Dwight LeBlanc said he was determined to get in as many races as possible on the first day and was prepared to race into the early evening twilight if the 10 knot sea breeze would hold.

Racing in the four-day Optimist US Nationals was held July 15-18. The 2018 Optimist Girls National Championship was sailed Thursday July 19 and the 2018 Optimist Team Race National Championship will run on July 20-22.

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Source: Pensacola Yacht Club

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