Monaco Optimist Team Race | 11-15 January 2023

Friday 12th January 2023 – An international regatta, the Monaco Optimist Team Race attracts young sailors from all walks of life. Dedicated to the team racing elite in this class, the event is fully in line with the ‘Monaco, Capital of Advanced Yachting’ approach underpinning the Club’s international ambitions. Under its public service remit, YCM plays an important role in promoting the Principality and pursuing the twin goals of education and sport.


Monaco Optimist Team Race: values without borders

Its original format of teams of four Optimists puts the emphasis on techniques, tactics and a spirit of solidarity, as it requires these young people to make split second tactical decisions that can radically impact their team’s results. At the end of day two and after 49 encounters, the final podium is starting to take shape, as the Croats and Americans prove their expertise in the discipline. With two matches won against Ireland and Switzerland, the Monegasque team is in the middle ranking.


Beyond competition, it is a great opportunity for them to meet sailing enthusiasts of their own age who share these same values while having fun. “It’s a unique event founded on teamwork and sharing. The kids are at the centre of it all and the goal is for them to improve their techniques,” says Paolo Ghione who heads the Competition unit in YCM’s Sports Section, adding “the idea is also to forge links between clubs”. This is a key factor for YCM which is twinned with 15 prestigious clubs and has reciprocal arrangements with around 60 others worldwide.


Transmission: a big challenge to guarantee the future

Through three of its units (Competition, Education and Events), the Sports Section has a three-pronged role to play in bringing on new generations. From the start it made it a point of honour to welcome all youngsters in the Principality. Sailing courses (in partnership with Monaco’s Education Department), week-long SeAdventure Camps in school holidays to raise awareness of the marine environment, and lessons to fine tune skills and compete keep the instructors and coaches busy. “The Yacht Club is a school for life and we support them on this journey, giving them a host of opportunities, not only in sport but life in general,” adds Paolo Ghione.

Transmission is also at work among adults with lessons on Smeralda 888s and J/70s, the result in the latter class being the formation of an all-women’s team of pros and beginners called Pink Wave.

Not just content to encourage a new generation into sailing, YCM also supports luxury yachting professionals with its La Belle Classe Academy training centre. The Club is also regularly called upon to transmit its values and expertise, particularly by new destinations, working towards obtaining its La Belle Classe Destinations certification.


Sights set on excellence

Keen to give young athletes their very best shot, YCM has several projects on the go according to Paolo: “We have several ongoing high level projects including Alexander Ehlen in kitesurfing. This year is an exceptionally busy one for him as he aims to qualify for the Paris Olympics in 2024”. All the evidence proves Yacht Club de Monaco is passionate about flying the Principality’s flag high at all levels.