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"The Synergy in Naples.

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Russian sailing team «Synergy»recently world champion in her class. RC 44ended the current European season with a rather successful performance in her new class. Melges 32. Of course, today «Synergy» is not the punching»«boy she was three years ago. Missing a spinnaker school halfway to the finish line is now unimaginable. The team has become a strong professional team, able to fight for victories at the highest level seriously and in full force.

Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, «Synergy» left the class Transpac 52 (TP 52) by selling her successful yacht, on which she won a bronze medal at the 2010 World Cup. However, the reasons for this decision are not important to us now. Instead of the TP 52, a new series has been added to the «Synergy» Racing schedule: AUDI Sailing Series 2012 Melges 32in which «Synergy» is the only Russian team. As the athletes themselves say, for them, participation in Melges 32 races helps to fill the gap between the regattas mainly for them class RC 44. In addition, it is important that the Melges 32 class boats are relatively inexpensive and easy to transport.

Maxim Logutenko: "Melges 32 series proved to be very strong, with good rhythm of competition and powerful rivals, many of whom race in our RC 44 class".


So what is this class and the whole series? Created in 2005, One Design Class Melges 32 (project of the Design Bureau). Reichel/Pugh) is an efficient racing boat with a length of 32 feet and quite conservative and slender proportions (L/B=3.23), high draft (2.13 meters), and very good energy efficiency. On sailing courses, the boat can carry sails of up to 120 m², which with a displacement of 1700 kg (without crew) allows the boat to easily go out for hydroplaning. In medium and strong winds the boat goes better with a heavy crew, so the rules introduced a limit of total weight for those on board - no more than 629 kg. With a large number of crew on board Melges, it is not so easy to select crew members to meet the weight limit.
For ease of transportation, the boat's keel can be easily lifted and removed from the hull (approximately like the SB 20), after which the boat can be transported in a special trailer tilted on one side to fit into the European highway width limits.

Class rules require that the owner and helmsman of a crew be an amateur yachtsman and that the number of professionals in the crew be limited.

This year was «Synergy»'s debut in Melges 32 - if the series as a whole consisted of five regattas, our team was able to take part in only two regattas of the cycle, which took place in Melges 32. Porto Cervo and in Naples, in no way pretending to win the whole series. And if in Porto Cervo the success did not accompany the Russian athletes (our crew was there only 16th, having the best arrival only third), in Naples things went quite differently.
The beginning, however, was not particularly optimistic - the forecast promised extremely weak winds, in which the advantage should have been expected on the side of Italian teams with excellent knowledge of local conditions. In fact, they were the ones who fought for victory in the entire series (Mascalzone Latino and Rush Diletta challenged the reigning champion Fantastica). The first day began with a «carrot», and only after a two-hour delay did the judges decide to start, seeking to hold three races a day.
«Synergy» took off quite successfully (Maxim Logutenko was driving) and chose the right side of the distance in the first race. All the time keeping among the first, our boat was equal to the leader - Audi yacht of Giacomel brothers, but at the same time did not risk making radical tactical decisions: having chosen the right side of the course as a whole, our crew kept most of the time the left of the right-hand»group«. This tactic rewarded itself with the second place on the finish line, so it is no wonder that it was used in the second race.
However, there were no special options. With the light wind blowing from the sea almost along the coast, the only option on the sharp course was to lay out the tack not far from the coast, sticking to the quay of Caracciolo: bending near the coastline (this is similar to the refraction of light entering an optically denser environment), the wind allowed the» yachts left to the right «to go to the upper sign on a more advantageous course. Therefore, the first two races were favoured by boats that had successfully taken off and turned right in time to get ashore.
Approximately the same plan, apparently, was at our crew and the third race.



But man, as they say, suggests, and God has. The wind has ruined everything. It's sour and ugly - almost three knots.

Under these conditions, the «Synergy» was let down by a new Gennaker - it was not suitable for such a weak wind. However, the start was also disrupted - our boat went into the race the penultimate. In these conditions it was impossible to win back, the result - the sixth place can still be considered a good luck, in the race the yacht was even eighth. However, the leader - Audi - was even worse when he came seventh, and «Synergy» kept second in the first day, behind Audi by only one point.
The second day was first an exact copy of the previous day - the same «carrot» in the morning. The races were postponed for about two hours, then the yachts went out to sea in the wind that did not exceed six knots. At the wheel of «Synergy» this time was one of the co-owners of the team Valentin Zavadnikov. The result of the second day, alas, was worse - the fourth, sixth and seventh parishes. The main reason for the deterioration of the results compared to the previous day - not so successful starts. The weak wind blew from the same direction as on the previous day, so the stretch along the embankment of Karacciola again became crucial: those who first after the start made a left tack turn and went to the right side of the course, got an advantage. After losing the start, it was almost impossible to catch up with those who were the first to hit a good wind near the shore. Well, since the starts did not go well on that day, the results were not very good either: the team left for fifth place with 20 points, three points losing to the boat that took third place - Mascalzone Latino.

The competition on this day's course was very high: three races - three different winners.

On the third day, the planned two races are left - according to the rules in Melges class 32 regattas are held up to eight races. The beginning of the day was exactly the same as in the previous two races - weak wind and dull hanging «carrots». The second of the team's co-owners took the helm of «Synergy» - Leonid Lebedev.
The first race of the day revived the hopes that had faded away - again the second coming! The league table was shuffled, Mascalzone Latino suffered a major setback, and our team moved to the fourth position, still losing three points to the third place, which is now occupied by Robertissima. There were still chances for the podium, but they were crossed out by an unsuccessful start in the final race - sixth at the finish and «Sinergia» is in fourth place with a four-point lead over third.
The awarding procedure was touching. The Circolo Canottieri Yacht Club, which held the competition, patronized the school where children suffering from some or other disabilities study, and before entering the seventh race each of the yachts took three disabled children and drove them to the distance, giving the children the opportunity to see the work of the crew (before the start of the race all the children were put on a special escort boat). So, these children, suffering from a terrible disease, were the ones who presented the athletes with prizes.

We should have seen the joy that children's faces were illuminated by the feeling of need.

And the final awarding ceremony was happy for us: AUDI announced that it was establishing a special prize to be drawn by lot, one of the girls chose at random the name of the yacht - and Maxim Logutenko went to get a model of the famous «»handmade Silver Arrow.
How can this performance of our team be considered? On the one hand, after the championship in RC 44, it seems to be a failure. But let's look from the other side: this is just the second performance of the team in a new class on a new water area in very difficult conditions of extremely weak winds (from three to seven knots). In the eight races held, «Synergy came second three» times. There were, of course, failures, but in general the stability of the team's performance has increased significantly, which should affect its future performances in the American series Melges 32, which begins this winter.

In the meantime, we can sum up the summary of the performance as follows: the training on cats was a success.

Results of the fifth AUDI Sailing Series Melges 32 regatta

1 AUDI
2 FANTASTICA
3 ROBERTISSIMA
4 SYNERGY
5 RUSH DILETTA
6 MASCALZONE LATINO
7 BRIBON - MOVISTAR
8 ATLANTICA
9 SEXY - LEA
10 VELVET ELVIS








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