Monday, October 27, 2008

Berlin Opti Team Cup - Final


October 26, 2008 - Berlin, Germany - The forecast was for rain but instead the 16 teams awoke to an early sunrise due to the end of daylight savings time and clear skies. There was still one flight to complete for Round 1 on Course B but the entire fleet left shore just before 0900. The wind was what team racers would hope for - 8 to 12, and the temperatures were rising with the sun.

LISOT's first opponent was UKR. On Saturday the LISOT vs UKR match had been abandoned when the wind died.

The day started off as Saturday had ended with a win. This put LISOT at 4-3.

Now LISOT had to switch courses for the four races of Round 2. Although they beat their first opponent FIN, LISOT was not as fortunate against the host team from the Potsdamer YC, GBR, and eventual runner-up, ITA. At the end of Round 2 LISOT's record stood at 5-6 but a number of tough teams still were ahead.

Round 3 opponents were POL, TUR, NEL & DEN. Unfortunately these teams represented four of the top seven in the regatta. The going was going to be tough. The wind was still gorgeous although it was now mostly cloudy.

For the POL, NEL, and DEN races LISOT struggled with their opponents' consistent speed, sharp team racing tactics and better experience in lake conditions. Against TUR LISOT had maybe their best race of the series only to lose just a few lengths from the finish. The last 5 boats in the race finished about 6 lengths apart. That was it. A 5-10 record. Some races that were within reach that didn't work out and some races where the other team was clearly better. Overall, a great experience that up and coming sailors should hope to have.

After Round 3 all the teams went shore and then the top four teams were announced to sail a finals and petit finals (1 vs 2 and 3 vs 4 ). All four teams had identical records of 12-3. It was RUS vs ITA in the final and NOR vs DEN in the petit final. The overall winner was RUS followed by ITA and then DEN and NOR.

Final records were:
1. RUS 12-3
2. ITA 12-3
3. DEN 12-3
4. NOR 12-3
5. POL 11-4
6. NEL 9-6
7. TUR 9-6
8. POL 2 8-7
9. GER 8-7
10. USA 5-10
11. SWE 5-10
12. GBR 5-10
13. PYC 5-10
14. UKR 4-11
15. GER (SCG) 2-13
16. FIN 1-14

LISOT's team of Tracy Doherty, Reinier Eenkema van Dijk, Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick, Elliott Morrill and Laura Wefer won and lost together as a team. All of them showed moments of brilliance but more significant was the experience of international team competition. They all showed good sportsmanship. As always, the regatta was very well run and the friendships long lasting (See pictures from Janet, Annette and Karen). It is the finest in international Optimist team racing competition.

Thanks to Coach Soren Laugesen and Team Leader Annette Morrill for all their hard work and passion.

The US team is chosen from the results of the prior National Optimist Team Race Championship. This year that was held at the Westhampton Yacht Squadron on Westhampton Beach, NY. In 2009 the Optimist Team Race Nationals will be held in July at the Cabrillo Beach YC in Cabrillo Beach, CA.

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