Yesterday in St. Petersburg the Open Championship of Russia in SB20 class ended. There were 31 crews, not only from Russia, but also from Ukraine, Belarus, Spain and Portugal.
The unqualified winner was the international team «New Territories», which included Spanish racers Hugo Rocha and Fran Palacio, as well as Alexey Semenov from St. Petersburg: in 5 out of 10 races they were the first to finish. And the first place among Russian teams was won by Nordmarine boat with Valentin Uvarov from Dolgoprudny and Muscovites Valery Zatsarinsky and Elena Smirnova.
For some yachtsmen this Championship was the first serious test of such level - the youngest 11-year-old participants from Ust-Luga fought equally with venerable masters.
We decided to ask the yachtsmen what happened for them at the Championship for the first time and what personal records they set.
Alexey Murashkin, Master of Sports International Class, St. Petersburg:
«It's the first time I've seen such a number of strong participants at the Russian Championship in this class».
Oleg [Zherebtsov], President, SB20 Class Association, St. Petersburg:
«For the first time I had to speak English with Portuguese team members. A foreign crew is a different culture. There were situations when English terminology did not coincide with Russian, it was easy to make mistakes and not understand each other. Very much is decided by your actions on board. You can do it one way or another, you have a million possibilities: to make a maneuver, to step back, to open or close the sail, to show your opponent another tactic, to overtake or lag behind. The number of equations you decide is gigantic. A sail is not athletics. There are so many unknowns here who are constantly changing. And your behavior, your speed of reaction to these changes, is the key to success. But the reactions of not one person, but the whole team. Here you need a common understanding of a particular situation».
Goncalo Ribeiro, Schoolboy, Portugal:
«It was the first time we participated with such a composition. Usually four of us used to go on such a boat, and this time one less person. But in the end we performed well, and in the last race we were the first to come. I consider my personal achievement as a whole participation in this regatta, interaction with my partners, with Oleg [Zherevtsov]. The difference is that we had to communicate in English, not in the usual Portuguese and make quick decisions».
Anna Basalkina, Master of Sport International Class, Development Director of SC "Sailing", St. Petersburg:
«For the first time in this regatta I was not in my place: not as a helmsman, but as a schoolboat and tactics. It was unusual: in such a hypostasis I was for the third time in my life and for the first time in racing».
Vladimir Proshikhin, Team Nika team leader in RC44 class, St. Petersburg:
«It's the first time I've wrapped such a piece of grass in a second race. I couldn't set a personal record. Last year, I was second. This year I was third, and before the last race we had the same number of points with Muscovites. It was very difficult to claim the victory, because we had no Artem Basalkin, and our nerves failed. This grass just knocked us out. The third place in our case is a good result».
Alexey Semenov, winner of World Championship in J80 class, St. Petersburg:
«It was the first time we participated in the regatta on this boat: two days before we gathered on this boat, two days of training. And the record is a victory in the Championship».