August 28th - Croatia are European Team Racing Champions

Lake Ledro, ITALY
Untitled Document

August 28th - Croatia are European Team Racing Champions


Prize Giving celebrations

As the Championship ended so did the good weather. League D sailors, race officials and volunteers all returned back to the club house amidst torrential rain. The downpour however did not dampen the enthusiasm for the event or the celebration of the winners

All teams were presented in turn to much applause. Turkey, for so long the dominant team here this week, were given the loudest applause of all by their fellow sailors in recognition of their brilliant sailing and as some compensation for their poor form today.

Mustafa Sergen Birincioglu, Bora Olcav, Selim Hekimoglu, Zeynep Yentur, Saliha Yilmazcelik and Coach Mahmut Saral

Finally the prizes awarded, the sailors said their fairwells to the new friends that they had made and the journey home began but not before they had thanked the club and its volunteers for their incredible hospitality. Many personal thanks were also given to Chris Atkins (chief umpire and the presenter of the tactic sessions) whose valuable tips and suggestions were enthusiastically received and often implimented on the water that same day.

Left: Team France, Centre: Team Croatia, Right: Team Italy

Congratulations to Croatia: Luka Matic, Mateo Pavincic, Mikele Runjak, Anja Hamerlitz, Rene Staric and Coach Damir Nakrst.

| Results |

August 28th - Semi Finals, Finals and League D completed

Those with expectations today for some of the most exciting and close team racing that the Optimist Europeans have ever seen, were not disappointed. The day began with Turkey sailing Croatia in first semi final. The wind was light but stable and conditions were excellent for a great day of racing.

Perfect conditions in Ledro

Turkey, with only one loss so far, were the favourites in this first to two wins semi. Croatia however were agressive from the start but by the first mark, Turkey had 1, 2, 3 and held the lead until the finish. In the next race, the pressure was on Croatia. In a complete reverse of the first race, Croatia were 1, 2, 3 at the windward mark and Turkey were 5, 6, 7. Turkey however fought back and the two teams demonstrated just why they had progressed through to this stage of the competition. Croatia managed to hold on to the lead and forced a third and deciding race.

Turkey rounded the first mark in 1, 2, 3,and were in a strong position. However, Croatia clawed a place back on the reach so that by the second mark, Turkey was 1, 2, 6, 7 ­ still winning but now the fleet was spread out and the match was still very open. The battle for places 3 ­ 8 continued through the run and final beat, with Croatia pulling through to finish 3, 4, 5, 6 and took the race and the overall semi final.

TUR (G) slow down CRO (D) during race three of the semi finals

The second semi final also went to three races. Race 3 started again as a very close race, with all 8 boats converging on the first mark at almost the same time. Italy came out ahead with a 2, 3, 4, 6 combination which they then converted to a 1, 3, 4 on the reach. The teams battled on the run and at the final mark Italy were still ahead with 1, 3, 6, 7. France had not given up though, and the 2nd place boat came back to help team mates work on the last two Italy boats. The second half of the beat saw some very close sailing, with France forcing Italy into errors which resulted in the Italian boats receiving penalty turns. This left France to finish and win with a 3, 4, 5, 6 combination.

The petit final between Turkey and Italy was active and noisy even before the start. At the second mark, Italy were ahead with 1, 2, 5, 8, with 2 (Italy) and 3 (Turkey) fighting hard for the place. It remained a hard fought match all the way to the finish, where Italy forced Turkey into errors that gave them a penalty from the umpires and left Italy with the first race won ­ 1, 2, 6, 7. The second race was also close but once again Italy prevailed and finished 3rd overall, much to the pleasure of the home crowd.

TUR (G) and ITA (F) joust before the start

The conditions on the course had continued to improve all day. The wind had now increased to 10-12 knots and with the sunshine and the glorious mountain scenary, these were truely perfect conditions for team racing. Croatia, still celebrating from their win over the championship favourites, took the lead early on and despite numerous challenges from France, won the first race.

All boats got away first time and spread evenly across the course. The first mark saw Croatia round first closely followed by France. A French boat tried to execute a mark trap but it wasn’t quite good enough to hold the fleet back so Croatia started the reach with 1, 3, 4, 5 and the fleet quite spread out ­ 7 and 8 were a long way back. The spread reduced the number of chances available to france to fight back and Croatia held on through the run to round the last mark in a winning combination, including 1 and 2 place. France however had not given up and there was an intense battle all the way up the final beat with all boats engaging. At a very close finish, Croatia got position 3 and 8 to go with their 1 and 2 ­ enough to give them the race and the overall title.

CRO (D) and FRA (A) at the start

Every year we comment that this was optimist team racing at its best and this year was no exception. This event is unique in offering top class competition and a tactical coaching and learning environment. If you want to improve your overall sailing skills, try team racing. The event will be here in Ledro again next year and the 16 teams will all qualify through participation at the Europeans in Tavira in Portugal.

August 27th - League C completed

Each team had just 2 more races to sail to complete Stage 1 and the pressure was on with many teams having crucial races to decide whether they advanced to the final 8 (League C) or to League D. Italy, Spain and Germany all sailed well enough to join Turkey, France, Croatia, Poland and Ireland in League C. There was great disappointment for Norway and Great Britain who tied with Germany on 7 wins each but to whom they both lost in Stage 1 so they both moved into League D.

Team meeting
A valuable win for ESP against GBR

League C was a simple round robin which would decide the semi finalists. Crucially, the points from Stage 1 are carried forward and the scoring in Stage 2 is 1.3 points for a race win. Here again Turkey dominated the round robin but had their first loss of the Championship, to Italy. The Italian team have perhaps shown the greatest improvement of any team here in both team racing tactics and results during the last 3 days and their semi final races against France should be both close and exciting.

Team meeting
Croatia and Turkey vigorously protest in their close race today

The other semi final features Croatia and Turkey who had an action packed race during League C and tomorrow is likely to be just as fierce.

Tomorrow will be the semi finals and finals with League D also to be completed.

August 27th - Day Three 10am

The racing today will decide the teams who move forward to the final eight. Turkey, France, Croatia and Ireland seem to already have done enough but Italy, Spain, Poland, Great Britain and Norway are still in with a chance of a place but some will be disappointed. The first few flights today include crucial matches where these final places will be decided.

August 26th - Second day of races

Excellent conditions on Lake Ledro allowed for a further 56 races today. With 13 of the 15 initial round robin flights completed, Turkey remain undefeated but by chance have not yet faced the next most successful teams, France and Ireland.

Once again, the morning began with a short briefing from Chris Atkins. Today perhaps the most interesting topic covered was how to win a race from a seemingly strong position of 1st and 2nd placed boats but infact with a losing combination. It was particularly gratifying to then witness a race where a team deliberately let the 3rd placed opposing team sail past them, losing the lead but enabling them to bring their team mate through to have a winning position. Not to be outdone however, the now losing team then performed the same manouver themselves and crossed the line as winners. This event at Ledro provides a unique opportunity for these sailors to both learn and participate in top level competition. The quality of the racing will continue to improve as the event progresses and these young sailors will find that the skills learnt here will be useful both now and in whatever sailing they progress to after the optimist class.

Team meeting
Team meeting before a race

Many teams are participating here for the second or third time but the success of the French team is particularly welcome as this is the first time they have participated in this event and they have not traditionally been well placed at the World Team Racing Championship. The round robin will continue tomorrow until the top eight are established, but these three, together with Croatia, are now guaranteed places in the planned gold pool in the next round.

| Schedule of races Stage 1 |

August 25th - First day of races

Belgium vs. Switzerland

The third IODA European Team Racing Championship opened on Wednesday at the beautiful venue of Lake Ledro, high above Lake Garda in Italy.

Entry is limited to 16 national teams, qualified from a ranklist of 30 established at the European fleet racing championship in July. As at that event sailors who will form part of their countries’ teams for the IODA World Championship in December are not allowed to participate, in order to spread the experience of international competition as widely as possible.

Opening Parade

There is a strong instructional element to this event with brief morning lectures and post-race debriefings conducted by Chris Atkins IU (GBR). A high-powered 8-person team of umpires includes Americas Cup veteran Neven Baran (CRO) who confessed that remaining alert through so many tightly fought matches was a new experience.

Good winds on day one allowed 48 races to be sailed under the supervision of Ion Echave IRO (ESP). It is still early days but already last year’s silver medallists Turkey have staked their claim by winning all their races so far. Ireland and Italy are tied on 5/6 wins.

August 1st - 16 teams

The following are the 16 teams already entered to this year’s edition of the European Team Racing event.

1 - Italy
2 - Spain
3 - Turkey
4 - Germany

5 - Denmark
6 - Croatia
7 - Poland
8 - France
9 - Ireland
10 - Sweden
11 - Switzerland
12 - UK
13 - Nederlands
14 - Finland
15 - Belgium
16 - Norway

It seems that the changes in eligibility requirements approved at the AGM in Brazil last year have paid off as this will be the first edition of the event in which all the available places have been taken.

This year IODA will be providing live event tracking so you can all follow your favourite team with both live and race replays available from a link on the IODA website. Tracking commences Wednesday 25th August.

July 20 - Seeding

The IODA European Championship in Poland qualified the teams to enter the IODA European Team Racing Championship to be held in Lake Ledro, Italy, from August 24 to 29. The format of the team racing event in Ledro is different from the usual double elimination series used in the rest of the IODA team racing events. In this case the format consists of four stages, the first of which is a round robin for two leagues of 8 teams each.

The seeding of the teams in the leagues of the round robins is made according to the points of the sailors in the final ranking of the fleet racing event, according to what is stated in the Notice of Race of the Team Racing event.


NOR 3.3 The total points excluding discards of the best three sailors of one gender and the best two of the other (whichever combination adds up to the best total score) from each country will be added to give a total team score. The 16 teams with the best total team scores will race in the ETRC.


Calculations based on the said scores led to the following ranking:

First 16 teams:

1 - GRE;
2 - ITA;
3 - ESP;
4 - TUR;

5 - GER;
6 - DEN;
7 - CRO;
8 - HUN;
9 - POL;
10 - FRA;
11 - IRL;
12 - SWE;
13 - RUS;
14 - SUI;
15 - GBR;
16 - NED;

Teams 17th to 30th:

17 - AUT;
18 - FIN;
19 - BEL;
20 - NOR;

21 - POR;
22 - ISR;
23 - LTU;
24 - BLR;
25 - UKR;
26 - SLO;
27 - CZE;
28 - BUL;
29 - EST;
30 - SVK

Teams are being invited in the order of their position in the ranking. The final seeding will be published once the teams have confirmed participation. If you haven't received the invitation please contact us at