Sixteen Advance for Optimist Team Title
Published on July 11th, 2019
English Harbour, Antigua (July 11, 2019) – Forty-four countries took part in day one of the 2019 Optimist Team Racing World Championship, which saw 16 of them qualify for the team racing finals tomorrow.
The two-day, high-energy event is a popular midway feature of the championship and gives the young sailors, aged 11 to 15, a respite from the hotly contested fleet racing.
Fiona Kidd, Secretary General of the event’s governing body, the International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA), said the young competitors appreciate the team format.
“The kids get to sail with their team mates which they love; they get so animated,” she said. “They go head to head on the water and the team with the last boat across the line loses, so they try and slow each other down and outmanoeuvre each other. It’s really fun with a lot of adrenaline.”
She continued that the sport teaches youngsters valuable life skills for the future.
“They have to learn to play by the rules and sailing also instils things like independence, resilience and discipline.”
She added that the logistical challenges of preparing for the largest-ever Optimist World Championship – with a record 65 countries taking part – had been significant and praised organisers for an exceptional feat.
Tomorrow will see semi-finals and finals for the team racing before the winning nation is crowned 2019 Optimist World Team Racing Champion.
After the qualifying stage of the Optimist World Championship on July 8-10, the fleet racing takes a pause as the Optimist Team Racing World Championship is held July 11-12. The fleet racing championship resumes on July 13-15 with scores from the qualifying round being carried forward to determine the final results.
The 2019 Optimist World Championship has attracted 255 sailors aged 11 to 15 years from 65 nations, beating the previous record of 62 nations set at the 2017 Optimist Worlds in Thailand. Racing is scheduled on July 8-15.
Source: Gemma Handy