Opti Team Cup 2017
16 Teams from 14 different nations
Date: October, 28th and 29th, 2017
Race Courses directly in front of the PYC harbour
Visitors boat available. Follow the announcements under News
First start Saturday 10:00 am
Finals on Sunday at 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Price giving ceremony about 1 h after the finals
What is the Opti Team Cup?
The Opti Team Cup (OTC) hosted by the Potsdamer Yacht Club PYC is an international optimist dinghy regatta with only one team per country eligible for entering. The teams are usually determined on the basis of a national qualification series or are comprised of the 4 or 5 best sailors of the respective country, which have qualified for the Optimist world Championships. The German team is entered by the German National Class Association (DODV). The club of the organizing authority (PYC) may additionally enter one team. The sailors representing the PYC this year are Leonie Oncken, Romeo Grobe, Niklas Kühling, Merlin Friedrich and Kjell Semmer. The USA as defending champion was also allowed to enter second team.
History of the OTC
The OTC was launched in 1988 and since then has taken place every year. The former winners came from 10 different nations with Poland, Italy, Russia, Denmark and Germany particularly successful. These teams of course are also among the favorites for this years OTC.
Mode of racing
A team is made up of 4 or 5 sailors with 4 boats participating in each individual race. In the round robin stage each teams sails directly against each other team making up 15 races per team and a total of 120 races for the complete fleet. These races are distributed evenly on two separate race courses. Each flight on the respective race course is comprised of 4 races with a length of about 15 minutes, which are started in an interval of 3 minutes and therefore run in parallel.
Scoring of the Team Race at first glance is pretty simple. According to their finishing position, the individual boats get from 1 to 8 points. The points are summed up for both teams and the team with the lower total score wins the race. A special rule applies, if both teams are equal on points. In that case the team that does not have the 1st placed Boat wins the race.
To be successful on the race course on the basis of these simple scoring rules, however, sophisticated team tactics are required in addition to excellent individual sailing capabilities. The young sailors in age between 10 and 14 years use all the sailing rules governing right of way to the special advantage of their team. Umpires control the correct interpretation of the rules directly on the water and impose penalty turns in case of violations.
The rankings of the individual sailors are of very minor importance as compared to the team score. Therefore the individual sailors try to block or slowdown the boats of the other team in accordance with the rules to give their teammates the opportunities to gain or hold positions. In the back of the sailors minds, the so-called winning combinations, which mean victory, are permanently present.
And especially with the good teams, none of the leading boats will cross the finish line, unless it is secured that the foreseeable finishing positions of the other team members will guarantee a winning combination or if they are forced to do so by an upcoming boat of the other team.
If the team does not have a winning combination yet, one often sees on the final upwind (see race course) that the leading boats of one team actually sail back to help their teammates. Otherwise, an often observed constellation with two boats of the same team holding the 1st and 2nd position can result in defeat in the end. If they cross the finish line early, the superiority of 4 boats of the other team slowing down the remaining two boats of the first can put these back into 7th and 8th position. And positions 1,2, 7 and 8 don’t result in a winner combination (18:18 tied score, and the team has the 1st placed boat).
In the final round the two teams with the most wins in the round robin determine the winner of the OTC in a best of three setting. In parallel, the 3rd and 4th placed teams sail the so-called small final to determine the bronze medal. These finals are the absolute highlights of the OTC and guarantee excitement until the last boat crosses the finish line.
It is very fascinating to watch this kind of sailing event from close-up and you are invited to do so. The race courses can be easily seen from the PYC harbor (of course binoculars are required to see the details). Additionally, visitor boats will bring you close-up to the races, especially during the finals.
The results can be followed here in almost realtime.
More than 60 volunteers from the PYC and other sailing clubs are involved in the organization of the OTC, which on the water requires two starting boats with complete crews and over 20 more motor boats for umpires, team coaches, press and multi media. A special thanks to all of them.