«Arsenal has been built up over the years.»

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Arriving at Gals yesterday for another GP26 match race training session at Georgiy Shayduko we were all looking forward to a tough chop.

Dark clouds and a strong wind promised today no tango on water - only hardcore, only the gennakers torn on gusts, only close contact of boats on starts!

But while we were getting ready to leave, the sky cleared, the wind abated, and by the moment of the warm-up general race of the fleet the sun was shining with all its might. By the third fleet the wind died down, and the boats maneuvered on smooth as a mirror water, driven, it seems, only by the willpower of the crews who wanted to race.

There were five boats assembled today, but all outnumbered the crew - there was trivially not enough helmsman for a sixth boat. As I promised, today we got a genaker, and life immediately became more complicated! Of course, we had some training before the start, and everything seemed to go well, but in the race not quite played up, down and turn under the gennaker cost us the victories. The rest of the crews had time to practice with these sails yesterday and today we were a step behind. Having lost the first two flights, having won the third and missed the fourth which was empty for us, we already fell asleep from no wind, having caught the sun, lazily looking round in hope of finding gusts on water. Suddenly not even a gust but real wind came! All over the reservoir the water boiled up and the boats started boating!

That's why I love the water area near Moscow, for the complete unexpectedness of the weather and winds!

So, we had a good start, not letting the opponent into the zone for a long time, then we were first to arrive at the mark, but when setting the gennaker we lost all our advantage - the sail got mixed up with the mainsail, and while we were untangling it all, the competitors overtook us, flying with their gennaker as if on wings, easily and beautifully! As a result we lost three flies out of four, and the champion of the day was Georgy himself, who won all the flies today!

Today we'll have another training session, but alas, without me. Leaving for the weekend to St. Petersburg, to meet our legendary sailing ship «Sedov» from the world cruise. In spring I spent two weeks sailing it across the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope, and now I would very much like to welcome back my new friends who are finally home!

I think Georgy will have something else in mind for next week. As he put it: «Arsenal has been piling up for years - there's something to charge»! I hope the Match Race School on the GP26 will be there! The boats are very fast, keen and interesting, very responsive to every movement of the crew, and to drive them these days was a real pleasure! In general, don't be bored, race more this weekend and stay tuned to See you again, of course, in Gals!

Author of text and photo: Elena Otekina

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