The first day of the World Championship in RC44 class, which started in Sweden on August 13, was dedicated to match racing and was a triumph for Russian Team Nika, which for the first time in its history won first place in match racing.
The weather on the island of Marstrand, where the regatta is taking place for the fourth year, had a vibrant seiling. Hurricane Bertha, which is raging now off the coast of Norway, did not affect the Bay of Skagerrak, but provided good wind of 20-25 knots with squalls up to 30 knots. In addition, the local water area is characterized by a short evil wave.
Perhaps these factors can explain the incident of the day - fell overboard, but immediately was safely caught by the crew sailor of the British yacht Peninsula Petroleum.
The rivalry on the distance was highly dynamic. According to the schedule for the day there were 7 flies, 5 races each. We remind you that 12 yachts representing Russia, Sweden, Italy, Monaco, Poland and Great Britain compete in Sweden.
And if previously the favorites were considered foreign teams, now the most interesting fights are held with the Russians.
The work of the crews, who on a short distance must show maximum skill, lightning-fast following the instructions of the helmsman, and the skill of tacticians - after all, match-raids is primarily a tactical battle - all four Russian teams are clearly making progress.
Vladimir Proshikhin, Team Nika: «Of all our opponents, perhaps the most difficult for us was Bronenosec. Vladimir Lubomirov is a real fighter, it was the most interesting tactical struggle! The guys from Synergy were also nervous, they are experienced match-racers, they race very aggressively and always force their rivals to do their best. It's the first time we've won all five races on a match-race, and I'm very happy. The team felt the taste of victory». It should be noted that this year was very difficult for Team Nika: several times we changed the lineup, went to the races with different tactics, picked up and set up new sails. In the current line-up Nika has already had its third regatta, and today the team showed itself excellently. So, the work was done not in vain.
The second place was taken by the Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, which in 2014 debuted in the RC44 World Cup. At the Swedish stage there was an important substitution - Igor Lisovenko became the steering match-race instead of Ekaterina Skudina, the permanent tactician of the youth team RC44, who also managed this season to play as a skipper of the team. Gazprom Team Russia in the Extreme40 class. «The races were difficult, the rhythm was broken because of the squally wind, - says Igor. - Nevertheless, the team worked «perfectly», we were the first in four races out of five. We lost only once - «the Battleship» was stronger. We are especially glad that we managed to beat the most experienced yachtsman and last season's champion Ed Bird, steering match-race and tactics of the «Synergy»team.
In general, match races are always a big responsibility. If in fleet races you can come second, third, fifth - and such a result is considered good, then here you either lost or won, no third is given. I'm proud of our guys».
It's not a bad day for «Katyusha's team». Her dramatic martial arts with the Polish MAG Racing in the sixth float made the audience literally hold their breath. The Poles strengthened the squad, taking the tactics of the famous Karol Jablonski, but our still beat both the Poles and opponents from Peninsula Petroleum and Artemis Racing Youth, scoring three points in the end.
«After three regattas of this season's RC44 Championship Tour 2014, the Synergy», which is second in the races, hoped to improve its result. However, today the team of Valentin Zavadnikov and Leonid Lebedev won only two races and added only two points accordingly, but retained second place in the final table of the championship.
The summary table of the match-race results of the season looks like this. It is led by the British Team Aqua (17 points), on the second line - Synergy (16 points), the third was Team Nika (15 points). «Katusha» with 11 points is in fifth place, «Battleship» (9 points) is seventh.