Yachting should be a business process.

Yachting should be a business process.

Interview with Sergei Dzhienbaev

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ItBoat continues its series of publications from RBC Caribbean Sailing Week. And today we have one of the most famous people in the domestic sailing, who also takes part in the regatta. head coach of the Russian Olympic team Sergei Nurzhanovich Dzhienbaev.

- Sergei Nurzhanovich, what is your view of business regattas in general and RBC Sailing Week in particular?

- I suppose such events are just to help sport. They attract a lot of attention, bring new people to sport, give strong emotions to loyal spectators. After all, any sport - and the sail is not an exception - needs fans and fans, and stories alone will not ignite and entice them. It`s like in football - why is it loved by all men? Yes, because as a child they used to chase the ball around the yard. But it`s expensive to light it up, to sail all the children today. There are no such means. We have to light their parents up. And I am glad that RBC Sailing Week itself as a regatta, as a sporting event evolves - goes, in particular, to attract professional racers.

Thanks to these regattas, the level of sailing development in the country has increased.

First of all, there is help for professional yachtsmen for whom new earnings are available. It's like additional jobs. Secondly, there was the creation of an audience ready to take serious interest in sailing and take it seriously. Third: there are potential sponsors who invest in schools and yacht clubs. And finally, fourth, there are people who create semi-professional teams - even here.
- And in your opinion, what is the level of participants and preparedness of skippers of the regatta?
- Those of the racers who were firmly connected with Olympic and children's sails, of course, behave better at the distance. They are more collected and cold-blooded, they are calm and create fewer collisions. That's why I think it is unjustified that we shouldn't approve of Olympians (and professionals in general) coming to business regattas. On the contrary, I think that their appearance at such events benefits both the regattas themselves and all their participants. Races become safer - which is very important.

- Wouldn't that entail a serious gap in skill level and division into two divisions - pro and all the others?
- Yes, in the beginning it would. But in the second stage of development of such regattas amateurs will want to pull up the level. Those who will stay in the regattas, will train more. They will go to local yacht clubs, they will participate in other races of different levels.
The important point is that RBC Sailing Week is still not a business festival, but a regatta, just with a business component. It is people who want to race and win.

- So, in your opinion, the sportiness of this regatta is at its proper height?
- I am surprised that the races are at a high enough level. I was afraid that there would be an easier, simpler version of them. Even those who race for the first time, stretch out as hard as they can - it is clearly visible. But if I were organizers, I would add one or two days to the practical flight, as it is done abroad. To work with the crew, to feel the boat - it would be very useful.
- What is the overall level of training of captains, do they have enough theory and practice?
- The level as a whole is not bad, but the only thing that people lack is racing practice. If there are more different regattas, it will be only better for all of us, there can be a differentiated level of participation in regattas.
- And what is the attitude of the WFTU to RBC Sailing Week?
- It's very complicated here. The FPSU is a public organization in which there are different opinions. Personally, I believe that this event drives and develops the sport. Especially children's sport. Now the problem with sailing is that coaches go to schools and cannot gather an audience. Even having boats, it is difficult to gather a children's audience, although sailing is not the most expensive for our children.
So the WFTU has two ways. The first is to invest a lot of money in popularization and promotion of sailing. And he is extremely unpopular with young people now: even my child wants to play basketball, not sailing.
The second one is to organize various competitions. There are more than 150 sailing competitions of all-Russian level in a year now. If RBC joins in this, it will only be good for all of us. But, alas, the prevailing opinion is that RBC Sailing Week is a place where people come for a good puff. But now I can see for myself that it is not. Of course, there is an evening program - but in the morning people go out well and with the right attitude.
- And what kind of sailing do you think the country needs?
- There is sport, and there is tourism.

At the head of the sailing pyramid should be a professional sport.

Only heroes can appear in it - people known at the national level. Like Eric Tabarley or Robin Knox-Johnston. People like Eric Tabarley or Robin Knox-Johnston... But you can't develop professional sport without developing everything else - you'll get a colossus on clay legs. There's got to be some «kind of support on the bottom». And the state needs the support of the infrastructure of such a pyramid.
- And what is the current state of affairs in the national team?
- The national team now and six months ago are two different teams. Even the skeptics had a hope that the national team took place. We already have four licenses, and there is hope for another three - in the men's and women's 470, in Laser Radial, and in the 49th. I would like to note such an important point - the national rowing team has only two licenses so far, despite the much more powerful financial support.
There are also hopes for several medals (we plan to have at least two). The first one is, of course, Katya Skudina. For her, we plan to take 2nd-3rd place (not lower!), the second medal from the remaining classes is bronze. We hope that it will be either a laser or 470. Perhaps, it will be possible to bring our crews to the peak of the form in class 49. Rodion Luca is now connected to this class and has a Canadian sparring partner.
- And which athletes are the most promising now?
- Of course, first of all - Igor Lisovenko (Laser), who took fifth place in the European Championship. There are promising girls in class 470. Due to their female nature, of course, they are unpredictable, but can give out pleasant surprises. For example, Natalia Ivanova. Everyone is engaged in it at once: Borodinov, Matvienko, Akimenko and Ilyenko. The Board of Trustees is seriously funding this class. Naturally, the most titled athlete here is Vlada Ilyenko. But she had a break because of the birth of a child, whether she will get into shape or not, it is still unclear. In men's 470 Mikhail Sheremetyev and Vladimir Chaus show excellent results. Pilipenko's crew also shows good growth dynamics, but I do not believe that a good crew can be prepared in six months.
Eduard Skornyakov will almost certainly go to the Olympics from the Finns, he has a very strong, though hidden motivation. Yegor Terpigoriev, I think the selection for this Olympiad will not pass. Let's see the current results from the European Championship in Finn class - see? Skorniakov is ahead - the experience takes its toll. Terpigoriev, alas, is seriously behind us. But Eduard has no conditions for classes. No professional coach, no sailing master, etc.
Alas, the Board of Trustees does not support adult Olympians yet. There are such figures for example: 3 million rubles was allocated to class 470, 3 million rubles was allocated by Sovkomflot for all other Olympic classes, and only 1 million rubles was allocated by the Board of Trustees for participation in the Olympics in general (accommodation, logistics, etc.).

That's why we need sponsors, that's why we need business regattas - you see, we have come to the point where we started this conversation again.
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