Tense Cascais: How did the Portuguese SB20 Championship go?
Sailing

Tense Cascais: How did the Portuguese SB20 Championship go?

Unfamiliar for Russians weather conditions and fierce competition - this is how you can describe the National Championship of Portugal in class SB20, held in Cascais last weekend.
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The past week and weekend was rich in news, the main of which for SB20 in Russia, of course, was the inclusion of the class in the All-Russian Register of Sports Views of the Russian Ministry of Sports. This gave the Russian competitors in Kashkaisha, where the National Championships in SB20 class ended, an additional incentive, but did not have time to influence the number of crews.

Three Russian teams participated in the competition: VIS Sailing Team (Timur Sabirzyanov, Vadim Pushev, Alexander Mikhailov), MTT Pirogovo (Vasily Grigoriev, Valery Ushkov, Mikhail Markin) and Sea Connect (Vladislav Ivanovsky, Arkady Sverdlov, Vitaly Nosach).

All the Russians have noted a very high level of rivals, which can be seen in the results: the top three leaders are not a single Portuguese. And they should know the local water area well!

In total, the National Championship of Portugal gathered almost 40 crews, 16 of them foreign teams from 6 countries (Portugal, England, Russia, Ireland, Australia and France).

«This indicates a high interest in the class and suggests that the goal of 80 bids for the World Championships will be achieved," said Class President Edward Russo at the awards ceremony. - It's certainly nice to see the diversity of crews, especially those who have come a long way, for example, from Russia and Australia».

The Portuguese championship has become the main preparation for the World Championships, which will be held here in Cascais already in late August and early September this year.

Unlike the Winter Series, which are already loved by the Russians, the summer conditions in Cascais are very different - the wave, though small, but stubborn - towards, the wind like a pipe, quite stable.

Several broken rudder feathers and one mast, light injuries and regular raids on signs - these were the results of the first day.

The second day participants started with caution. The distance was long enough, but it didn't change, having settled down in the area of Cascais Bay a couple of miles from the shore. The judges reduced it twice on the windward courses.

On the third day the course was moved north and laid along the coast of picturesque Cascais, but the final race after the second general review was again moved closer to the bay, which was an additional challenge for already weary crews.

The teams crossed the starting line 10 seconds before the signal, the tension of the final was so strong!

For three days the competition between the boats was very intense and despite the presence of many foreign crews, the fate of the Portuguese champion was decided. He was the long-time leader of the Portuguese competition and organizer of the regattas, the crew of the Dom Pedro Hotel/Generali, led by his permanent leader José Paulo Ramada, who took fourth place in the overall standings, but for the yacht club and its members was certainly the Champion.

Overall, the Portuguese teams at the championship were staffed with strong national athletes, some of whom have tried out the SB20 format for the first time. For example, Antonio Fontes, last year's Mini-Transat participant, who took 13th place out of 72. He was very pleased with the past races and intends to participate in further class events, at least those planned in Portugal.

The championship was won by the young French team France Jeune SB20 (Gabriel Skoczek, Emeric Michel, Lucas Chatonnier, Alice Chiappori), which has already made a name for itself in the class at the recent Grand Slam in Cannes, where it was second, beating two Russian teams. The guys in 9 races have two first and two second finishes, and perhaps the most stable results, which brought them victory.

Second and third places on the Portuguese podium with equal number of points for Anglo-Saxons - Marvel (Richard Powell, Ben Vines, Tim Burnell) from UK and Export Roo from Australia (Michael Cooper, David Chapman, Gerry Mitchell). For three days their fight for leadership was obvious, but the British failed to maintain the level of the first day on the second and third days, and the French took the lead. The Australians with a giant kangaroo on a spinnaker could not finish in the final race of the day, which worsened their performance and led to a tie break with the British, who finished fourth, which determined the places in the final table.

In addition to the water competition, class management and the local committee met to discuss plans for next year. As a result, representatives of the class announced that the next National Championship will be held on the island of Madeira, whose team Madeira Islands already starting from the Winter Series last season claims itself in class. Special conditions are planned for the participants of the National Championship 2017, as the organizers will again seek to attract as many foreign crews as possible. Official information will soon be announced, but in the meantime we are waiting for the next SB20 event in Portugal, which will take place on 16-17 July and will be the final chance before the World Championships to taste the Cascais water area.

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