Monaco Optimist Team Race gets off to a start with H.S.H. Princess Charlène
Throughout the year, the Yacht Club de Monaco, presided over by HSH Prince Albert II, welcomes over a hundred children from beginner to competition level, as well as local Monegasque school pupils (80 classes of both primary and secondary school classes) in collaboration with the Education Nationale, showing the club and its Youth Sailing Division's ongoing commitment to training young sailors. Discovering the sea and the importance of preserving the maritime environment, learning how to sail and how to handle a boat, educating children and helping them to assimilate sporting values, such is the Yacht Club de Monaco's Sailing Division's mission. Keen to share and exchange these values with its international network of twinned and reciprocal clubs, the Yacht Club de Monaco has organised the Monaco Optimist Team Race which will take place this weekend between the 20 and 22 January 2012, in collaboration with Slam, FxPro and the Chocolaterie de Monaco for a chocolate tasting session. HSH Princess Charlene took the opportunity to attend the team briefing held by Alfredo Ricci, the Principal Race Officer, where she motivated the young sailors, aged between 12 and 15, who were all thrilled to have a chance to present their boats at this friendly and informal meeting. There is an international line-up of 12 yacht clubs, representing eight countries with teams of four sailors who will all be competing against one another this weekend. Following two days of intensive training, under the direction of the English-born Bruce Hubbert, international umpire, world renowned in Team Racing, attended by the Tunisian Sailing Federation, St Petersburg Yacht Club (Russia), Royal Cork Yacht Club (Ireland), the Société Nautique de Genève (Switzerland), the Club Naval de Cascais (Portugal), the Circolo della Vela Sicilia (Italy)..., the competitors are now ready to go head to head in this Team Race following its original format. A discipline where the overall results of all four team-members counts and not the performance of the individual. Key values come together, those of solidarity and humility and of course, sporting too. The Monegasque team's victory last year demonstrated this, as they stole the lead in the final stage thanks to their team spirit and strength.