On Saturday, June 10 traditional seventh in a row Sails of the White Nights Regatta for the Cup of the Palace of Congresses ended in
For several years the regatta had the highest level - the first ISAF Grade; this time the organisers reduced its status to the second to allow more domestic competitors to take part in it. Accordingly, the preliminary qualifying regatta also reduced its status - from the third to the fourth Grade. For the first time it was held outside St. Petersburg - in Ekaterinburg. However, this had no major impact on the number of Russian competitors: before there used to be four crews, this year there were five of them.
The weather favoured the organisers who managed to perform all the planned flyts. Initially the leaders (in terms of number of flights won) were Andrey Arbuzov, Ruben Corbett and William Tiller (both of New Zealand), but on the last day
And Ruben Corbett immediately said that
someonefrom New Zealand would win.
Just at the same time William Tiller's crew performed very well, with whom Andrei had to face for getting into the semi-finals. It was an intense and dramatic battle - first fly was won by the New Zealander, then two flyts were left for Andrei. It
Andrey Arbuzov, who was upset, even refused to go on the water in the final races forplaces.
fifth to eighth
So the Saturday day (the day
However, some compensation for elimination of repeated winner of Sails of the White Nights brought us Sergei Musikhin, in a very difficult struggle defeating Staffan Lindberg from Finland, one of the most experienced racers of the regatta, who also became the best in the results of
The following races revealed two more semifinalists: Vladimir Lipavsky and Ruben Corbett (interestingly, Corbett's crew included one Russian athlete). «Now it was a question of who would be in the final - the pairs that emerged were, as they say,» mono-national: Russians vs. To everyone's surprise, Sergei Musikhin (who has competed six times in St. Petersburg and is well familiar with our difficult waters) lost to Vladimir Lipavsky 1:3. In the
Unfortunately, it turned out to be an uneven fight. If in
Sergey protested, of course. And all the umpires came to see him. But after
There is no point in waving fists after a fight, looking for a mistake or malice in the actions of an experienced international jury.
In the race for first place, the battle was fought to three victories. Experienced Tiller, who was in the peak of his form (in New Zealand the season was coming to an end, and ours was just beginning), didn't give Lipavsky a single chance, winning all three flights in one goal.
The aggregate score between Russia and New Zealand was 0-5. The New Zealand riders showed their class, and for us... Well, we still have to learn, train, and fight our nerves. And in that sense White Nights Sails is a great school! It's a pity it's short...
Regatta of next year will be very special - for the first time
We still have a whole year to prepare a worthy opponent for Europeans!