Optimist team racing has continued to grow rapidly in 2010 with the IODA European Team Racing Championship reaching the maximum entry of 16 teams for the first time and many other optimist team racing regattas establishing themselves on the international calendar. In 2009, for the first time, the team racing at the Optimist World Sailing Championships was increased to 2 days with a maximum possible entry of 48 teams. This proved to be a great success with China becoming the World Champions last year in Brasil. Today, they and 42 other teams began the first stage of the IODA Challenge Cup, to find the Optimist World Team Racing Champions for 2010.
Final team preparation
The day began with a briefing from Chris Atkins (Chief Umpire), who reminded sailors of the importance of displaying their protest flags clearly and promptly and to hail loudly. His words were heeded well as right from the start, in what was very tight racing, hails of ‘protest’ were even audible to those spectators on the shore. On the first day, there were 76 races on two race courses. The pace was fast with races averaging just 6-8 minutes. As on the previous days, the wind shifted constantly, particularly on ‘A Course’ which had been laid close to the shore infront of the club.
Close action, France v Greece, last race on Course A today
Racing will continue again tomorrow with some matches from Course A still to be decided so the teams that have qualified for the final stage will not be known until tomorrow morning. The teams that have qualified from Course B are: Singapore, Germany, Australia, Spain, Italy, Malaysia and Chile.
Measurement check of a boat after finishing a race
The Final tomorrow will be fully tracked and can be followed live on the website.