Russian teams reached the semi-finals of the European Championship

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The second race day of the European Championship showed how different the results of the competitors can be when there is time to work on mistakes. But, unfortunately, it is no longer possible to remove the mistakes made the day before. Although on Saturday, June 1, many drivers were more successful than the day before, only 4 best crews will continue the race. And among them are two Russian teams!

The second day of competition at the European Championships was similar and not similar to the previous one. « Today the wind demanded to change the distance to the East, closer to the Troitsky bridge - commented the Head of the Race Committee of the championship Anna Deyanova- Compared to the races on May 31, it's more smooth, but the current is stronger».

«Indeed, today the wind didn't "twist" like yesterday, but the effect of the current compensated the advantages of the new location of the course - assessed the racing conditions one of the leaders of the championship, Swiss Eric Monna. - Compared to yesterday, the situation is different, but no less difficult».

The program of the day was to go on with the qualifying races, which started without delay from the morning as soon as the weather conditions allowed it. There were 10 flys over the course of Saturday, and thanks to the steady wind, the programme went almost without any delays.

Most of the drivers made a good work of the mistakes made on the first day. The tactical pattern of the competition changed. Instead of imposing a duel in which the opponent can make a mistake and get a penalty, racers looked for an opportunity to take a better position at the start. « "The special thing about racing in these waters is that we stopped trying to avoid a penalty in the pre-start procedure, in favour of starting first," Eric Monna continued. - This required a complete rearrangement of tactics, which we were able to do today».

This does not mean that the fate of matches was decided solely in the pre-start area. On the contrary, a number of games ended not in favor of the teams who were first near the starting line. « At least two matches we gave away to our opponents, German skipper Felix Ome said. - In the match against the Greek team we were leading with a lead, but we caught the sign when executing the excuse and missed the victory. In the meeting with Manu Dien, the French managed to beat us on the tack».

It turned out that most of the championship skippers were not much inferior to each other. During the day it was hard to name a leader - the matches were so evenly matched. Six teams earned an equal number of wins. At the same time, the leader of the day was only one point behind the rest of the group. Nevertheless, the heavy baggage of negative results prevented many from continuing their fight for the European title. According to the race committee's decision, bypassing the quarterfinal stage, the competition will continue in the semifinal and final stages.

According to the results of the qualifying round both Russian crews made it to the semi-finals. But before that they had to meet in a head-to-head duel during the round-robin. And this, undoubtedly, was the central match of the twelfth fleet, the start of which, coincidentally, was marked by the noon volley of the Peter and Paul Fortress cannon.

A fierce struggle began immediately after the boats entered the starting area. «Once upon a time I was light-heartedly choosing Sergey Musikhin as an opponent - Andrey Arbuzov commented on the match development - but now he has already turned into a formidable opponent, who knows this water and perfectly performs maneuvers». Objectivity of the experienced master's words became evident when his boat left the start area with a penalty in its pass. Later on in the race, Sergey also received a penalty, and these penalties were offset by his rival's penalty. But by this point Andrey was already in the lead and eventually crossed the finish line first. « This match was hard and ambiguous» - Musikhin gave his succinct assessment of the fight. The skippers' confrontation was commented by the yachtsmen who watched the match for a long time after it was over.

Given the development of events, some are even predicting a Russian final of the European Championship, where Musikhin and Arbuzov will meet again.

But the outcome of this match no one dares to speculate any more.

Apart from the Russians, Italian skipper Simeone Ferrarese and Swiss Eric Monna made it to the semi-finals. As can be seen, many favourites did not have a good time in the regatta. Finnish skipper Staffan Lindberg says «it's all about the pre-start procedure», while Dutch skipper Mads Ebler, who failed the first day of racing, complains of psychological nuances: «We just did not get into the rhythm of this wind, and when, one after another, there were mistakes, it was difficult to tune in for a positive result».

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