And although the first day on sailing concepts did not go well - the wind barely breathed into the sails - those who came to see Extreme Sailing, have not lost anything. The strongest athletes, brightest sails, Neva and Palace Embankment as a stage for dynamic fleet racing on catamarans Extreme 40. It's a win-win combination. There are still three days ahead, until June 29 race, which settled on the beach of the Peter and Paul Fortress, everyone can visit.
The distance is well visible from the shore, plus there is a screen on the beach and commentators are working, clearly explaining what is happening. One race takes about 10-12 minutes, with the winner everything is simple - who finishes first, he will get 10 points and further on descending.
The fourth stage of Extreme Series in Russia is held under the patronage of SAP technological giant, on water they have been represented for 3 years by a rather successful team of the same name (today they are the fifth in the tournament table).
In St. Petersburg SAP presented its solution collecting data during the race (position and direction of boats, speed, wind force, deviation from the course) and making these figures suitable for analysis and visualization. The latter is intended for those watching on the screen - we have seen it on the «America»'s Cup (although it is more useful), when the screen showed the markings of the track, boat speed and wind, distance to signs, etc. - in general, everything that makes the race understandable. The analytics goes post facto to help the yachtsmen.
They are not allowed to have too smart systems on board. The compass and the watch are all «gadgets».
But after that, please. According to Rasmus Costner, a tactician and second skipper of the SAP Extreme Sailing Team, such an analyst allows you to observe the behavior of the boat on the water, avoid mistakes made and learn the tactics of more experienced teams, which, for example, may facilitate entry into a new class of boats.
«Sailing is not a race for the hundredth when you see your opponent in front and all you have to do is run. It's a tough sport»," Costner said during a roundtable with reporters.
But he added that while technology makes it possible to perform better, only people can quickly calculate the situation and react.
The day before the teams had their first training session and I asked Costner how they were doing with the local water area and whether they decided on the tactics.
«We feel more confident after the training, but still we didn't fully understand how to behave. Strong currents and weak winds make it difficult to choose tactics - you have to choose between these factors»at every moment," said the tactician.
Neva puzzled everyone.
It would seem that our skippers are in a more advantageous position, but the results of the first day are contradictory.
The guys from Gazprom Team Russia started with the seventh line of the tournament table, then jumped to the third and finished the day with the eighth. The team of Georgy Shaiduko - RussianFirst - spent the day in the tail. But so far the 12th place is not an indicator, for them it's the first «Extreme» - the crew acts as an invited guest of the stage, and it lacks the coherence of actions that you can not work without rivals in training. There are about 20 more races ahead, if the weather does not let down. We will watch and cheer for ours!