China was crowned 2009 Optimist Team Racing World Champions following three days of intense competition during the IODA World Championship in Niteroi, Brazil.
China triumphed in the final over Peru as 40 teams competed in the 2009 Optimist Team Racing World Championship, held midway through the individual Worlds, where 211 young sailing hopefuls are representing 47 nations.
On the first day of team racing, the 40 challenging teams battled for a place in the final stage, with a major surprise as last year's winners Puerto Rico failing to make the cut. After a day's delay, when light and then extreme wind conditions preventing racing, the final stages got underway in rainy conditions. The 12 remaining teams, Malaysia, China, Argentina, Thailand, Singapore, Turkey, USA, Peru, Poland, Slovenia, Brazil and Greece left the shore early for what was to be the final day of the Miami Herald Trophy, the IODA World Team Racing Championship.
The favourites were Malaysia who had remained impressive throughout the championship both in the team and the fleet racing. On the day however they lost to China and then Poland and these two losses saw them exit the competition.
Finally there were just five teams left. Peru, by now the favourites, had advanced to the final but their opponents could be one of four teams: last year's runners up Singapore, Poland, China or Greece. These races were some of the most fiercely contested and were challenging for both the competitors and the umpires. Optimist team racing has become more popular in the last couple of years and the standard of the racing here was probably the highest that we have ever seen. All of these teams can be proud of how far they have come in this competition.
Peru's opponents would now be either Singapore, finalists last year, or China. The race was close, with China finally victorious.
The final was to be the first team to win two races. Both teams had excelled in the light and often shifty conditions, so this was likely to be a race of tactics as they both had equal boat speed. China though seemed to have saved the best until last and they accelerated away from the Peruvian team to score two consecutive wins.
Congratulations team China, the new IODA World Team Racing Champions.