Friday, April 18, 2014

Latvia Wins Yachting Russia Cup

J/80 RUSSIA Yachting Cup (Lago di Garda, Italy)- One of the oldest yacht clubs in Europe is the Fraglia Vela Riva, located on the picturesque northern shores of Lago di Garda in Italy.  Last week, FVR hosted the ninth edition of the "Yachting Russia Cup" for the Russian-speaking yachting community. Competition was held on International J/80 one-design sportsboats in a format of match races for all participating teams.

Nearly 60 athletes from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Belarus, Germany and Italy were divided into 11 teams. According to rules of the Cup each skipper has the right to choose from all participants one crew member, then the rest of the crew is formed by drawing from a lottery (e.g. pulling chits out of a hat with people’s names on them).  With such a method of defining the crew, it forces each team to be engaged in team organization, training and working together as a unit. As a result, the team that works well together in such a short period of time and makes the least number of mistakes wins!  It is a fun format that leads to great camaraderies and fun parties in the evening!

The first three days were not typical for Lake Garda- heavy overcast skies and a light, variable breeze from every wind direction. But, thanks to the accurate and harmonious work of the race committee, the sailors managed to participate in 43 matches to determine the top four crews. Then, the semifinal meetings were held and participants of the championship and consolation finals were defined.

Since the beginning of the event, there has been a significant increase in the skill of the participants.  Today, there are very aggressive tactics immediately after entering the starting zone, using every form of obstacles, rules, dial-ups, and so forth to gain advantage. The racing is so good, it’s already difficult to call this match racing event a competition amongst “amateurs”.

J/80 Russia Yachting Cup winnersOn the last racing day, the weather was typical for the lake- in the morning the sun shined brightly and a nice wind blew down the lake. Until lunch, the northerly “adabatic” winds blew from the north at 10-15 kts, enough to conclude the semifinal matches. Then, during lunchtime, the wind died and changed into the south and filled at at 15-20 kts gusting to 25 kts.  It was an intense fight for the finalists, the skilled helmsmen and crews were in a hard-fought battle at the start and all the way around the race course.

Triumphant after a long, hard race was Sergey Pervushkin from Riga, Latvia on the Baltic Sea.  Taking second after their loss was Sergey Ezhikov from Kaliningrad, Russia.  In the “repechage finals”, it was Dmitry Zaritsky from Kaliningrad, Russia taking the win to score third for the series over Pavel Minayev from Samara, Russia.

The next Yachting Russia Cup will take place in Kaliningrad, Russia from July 31 to August 3, 2014. Thanks for the contribution from Dmitry Zaritsky and for the sailing photos credits- Maria Guryeva.  Find more photos here on Facebook- Yachting Russia  For more Yachting Russia Cup sailing information