As you know, most modern sports were invented by the British. From boxing and football to bridge and cricket. Sailing is one of those sports, traditionally British. «Maybe even more British than football: after all, Britain was considered tobe the ruler of the seas» and rules them according to its national anthem.
And beating the people of Foggy Albion in the sailing distances is not the easiest thing to do and not everyone can do it. Especially if one tries to do it on British waters. But recently Team Russia's Team Russia managed to do it. Oleg Zherebtsov SB20 (formerly Laser SB3) class wins the British Open National Championship, which concluded on Sunday 17 June in Weymouth's Olympic waters.
Forty-five crews took part in the regatta, quite an impressive fleet. The first day was arduous - in 15-knot winds the judges decided to give four races instead of three as planned - as the forecast for the following days was extremely unfavourable.
«The sensation was not long in coming - the Russian crew won the first day, as they say,» in one gate: two first come, two second come. Alarmed by this aprons, the leader of the British team - Craig Burton's crew - could only flaccidly defend themselves from the attacking journalists. The Russians performed very well but their speed was not higher than ours. But they won only because we lost a lot of time during the manoeuvres, and they were very collected.
Oleg Zherebtsov: «We trained hard all winter in Portugal, achieving the team's perfection. As a result, today we made almost no mistakes».
The second day of racing forced the judges to move the distance from the open part of Weymouth Bay in the Portland Bay, which was covered by three breakwaters: the wind was too strong. The first race of the day was won by one of the British crews and Team Russia was second on the top marker, but retained its lead and moved down to third place by the finish. «During the second race, the wind speed reached 20 knots (and even exceeded this figure) and most of the crews sailed», thinking not so much about winning as about saving the equipment and making a safe return to shore. As for our crew, the devil himself was not a brother, and he won this race, having strengthened his position in the regatta.
The best indication of the wind conditions is the speed data: our boat accelerated to 19.5 knots!
However, it should be noted that Joe Lewellyn's crew did indeed show 20 knots, for which they were nicknamed «Steel Balls». And the SB20 is a keelboat, not
Having looked at these figures, the judges prudently decided to abandon the racing for the day. On the third day, the wind blew to 40 knots and there was no racing at all.
The last day of the regatta remained: our crew (with the discard of the worst race) was ahead of the nearest rival by five points, and the next one - by 10 points. On the final day the judges managed to hold two more races, they, unfortunately, were not the most successful for our athletes: sixth and 10th places. However, the gap between our guys from the second place crew (it just became «Steel Eggs») only increased: 16 points against 27.
But Rodion Luca, who was at the helm of our boat, was noticeably upset by this state of affairs: «Since in the final race we could not come in the top three, it means that we still have to learn a lot».
However, it never hurts anyway.
Maybe we should forget about football.
Let's win the sailing races!