Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Russian J/70 Sailing League- Premiere Division Debut

J/70s sailing Russia Sailing League off Sochi (Sochi, Russia)- Like their counterparts in Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland, the Russian J/70 Sailing League has seen such strong participation and interest that it created a “junior” league as well- dubbed the “Premiere Division”.  The “new” teams that have joined the league can now sail the Premier Division series to, hopefully, qualify for the “A” division series in 2019.

The first event had thirteen sailing clubs from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg and Kazan. The goal over three days was to run 39 races to complete a full rotation.

Day One
On the first day of the regatta, thirteen races were sailed.  The racing was held in great,”classic” Sochi weather conditions; a southeasterly wind of 10 kts, gusting to 16 kts greeted the sailors in the earlier part of the day.  As the breeze built and swung more south, it built in intensity and by the last three races, the winds were gusting over 20 kts!  The crews loved it, as it was full-on planing mode by the end of the day!

Each team sailed 7 races. It was an impressive performance by 7 YACHTS Team that consisted of Karina Teliants (a top women skipper), Alexander Andrianov, Vyacheslav Bukin and Dmitri Tarba.  They managed to win 5(!) victories; their total was 11 points, giving them a 7 pt lead.  Behind them, it was a three-way tie on 18 pts each between DEMIDOV EXPRESS (Vladislav Morozov), PARUSNIK 74 (Eduard Podshivalov), and GRANIT INVEST (Albert Gorkunov).

J/70s sailing off Sochi, RussiaDay Two
Saturday saw 15 more races sailed, making it 28 in total so far for the regatta.  That meant each team had sailed 15 races- the sailors were exhausted, but elated by the fierce pace and fun sailing.

Continuing to maintain her lead was Karina Teljants’ 7 YACHTS team, winning three more races for a total of 8 victories in 15 races!  The big shakeout took place just behind her.  Now, Morozov’s DEMIDOV EXPRESS secured 2nd while Gorkunov’s GRANIT INVEST held on to 3rd place.  Podshivalov’s PARUSNIKA 74 dropped to 5th place, while leaping over them into 4th position was Zoran Paunovich’s ZID ART Sailing Team.

"Compared with the rest of the participants, we are perfect newcomers," said Boris Petukhov, skipper of the KHIMGRAD KAZAN Team. “We have much to strive for and to learn. We do not give up, we need to analyze our mistakes!”

Day Three
On Sunday, the amazing Sochi NPL Race Committee and PRO managed to complete 37 races, getting 9 more on the final day.   As a result, each team sailed twenty races!

In the end, lady helm Karina Teljants and her 7 YACHTS crew (Alexander Andrianov, Vyacheslav Bukin and Dmitry Tarba) were indomitable. The team won 11 races (of 20 total) and finished 7 times on the podium for a total of 38 pts! It was an unexpected and very decisive victory for her team.

Finishing in second place was the team from Ekaterinburg- DEMIDOV EXPRESS sailed by Morozov and his crew of Sergey Musikhin, Maxim Podbeltsev and Alexander Shpagin.

Clinching the bronze was the ZID ART Sailing Team, led by Zorana Paunovich with crew of Sergei Volchkov, Dmitry Narozhenko and Vitaly Ignatenko.

Just one point back and having to settle for 4th place was Gorkunov’s team on GRANIT INVEST (Yuri Popov, Leonid Tarasov, Igor Shimko).

J/70 Russia Sailing League sailorsSome of the sailors offered interesting perspectives on sailing their first event in the J/70 Premiere Russian Sailing League Series.

"Of course, we did not train in vain all winter sailing in the Radio Monte Carlo Winter series,“ said Zoran Paunovich, skipper of ZID ART Sailing Team. “However, the current team here did not race that series with me, so the first day was more of a training day for us! It's a shame that we made three false starts. That, of course, killed our chances. But, the weather was "ours”- strong wind and big waves- the same conditions we practiced in all winter. I think we could show a very good result next time ... It turned out that after the first day we fell far behind our rivals.  Then, in the remaining days we had to play catch up. As a result, one point was not enough for second place! Alas, but in the last two races of the regatta we did not perform well- twice we were fourth. In short, the second place swam away from us from under our nose! On the other hand, we have something to strive for. The main thing is that we realized what mistakes we made. It remains until the next regatta to work through them, which we will definitely do!"

"The racing was intense, mentally and physically," said the skipper of DEMIDOV EXPRESS, Vladislav Morozov. “First the rain, then the sun, then calm, then the big winds and waves! We are all, in general, exhausted! What we did not have was experience on our team. Nothing!  However, we will continue to sail in the next act and we will come to the third and the fourth acts, too!  Watch out, we will learn fast!“

"I now have a feeling that this event has become such a memorable moment of my life that I will remember it until old age," reflected Karina Teljants, skipper of 7 YACHTS. "I'm delighted with all that has happened! The organization, the refereeing, and the participants- everything was fantastic! And, to be honest, I'm a little shocked by the fact that we won. Such a result was completely unexpected. Especially, after the winter series of regattas, during which we searched for our place in the results and we counted it from the back because it was easier,” she said laughing out loud.

She continued to say, “So, for this first Premier Division regatta, we decided to strengthen the team. We added Alexander Andrianov to help on boat speed and strategy.  And, we added as our tactician Vyacheslav Bukin, who kept us out of trouble! Their experience had an immediate impact on our ability to be competitive, thank goodness!  We hope we can maintain our strong performance in the second regatta later in April! We will try and then we'll see how we do.”

The next regatta of the Premier Division of the Russian J/70 National Sailing League will be held on April 19-22, again in Sochi.  For more Russian J/70 Premiere Sailing League sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.