SB20 Russian Open Championship: and the winner is … friendship!

..as Russian-Spanish team of Hugo Rocha, Alexey Semenov and Fran Palacio masterfully win the event in overall standings leaving the title of the national champion to the fully Russian team of Valentin Uvarkin, Valery Zatsarinskyi and Elena Smirnova…..

SB20 Russian Open Championship came to an end on August 26 with final three and a total of ten races sailed. The leaders of the overall ranking, Russian-Spanish team New Territories have kept their leading position but the question who will win the national title remained open till the last race.

The last racing day of the SB20 Russian Open Championship had finally brought the long awaited western winds after two days offshore winds from the North. With up to 15 knots in gusts the races went on with such a great pace so that by midday all three initially planned races had already been sailed. A total of 10 sailed races gave the participants a right to discard two worst scores.

Overnight leaders, the Russian-Spanish team “New Territories” again managed to post two bullets in the first two races of the day and were very close to winning the last race. “We had a bad start in the last race but squeezed through the fleet from 10th at the weather mark to top-three on the finishing line”, recalls team’s leader Alexey Semenov, “this was possible due to our constant search for the speed potentials that we did throughout the event. We checked and tuned every little thing on the boat so on the last day we had found the perfect tune that gave us a chance to use the boat’s potential to its maximum”.

But even the third finish in the last race of the Championship was more than enough for the team to secure its victory in the overall ranking with 12 points lead to the second place. “We are very happy with this result since at the beginning everything was new to us here”, comments Spanish Olympic bronze medalist and team’s helmsman Hugo Rocha, “we have really started from a scratch with the new class and we fell in love with the boat and the venue so we are to start our preparations for 2014 World championship here”.

The rules and regulations of the Russian Yachting Federation, that for the first time since the birth of the class in Russia governed the event, secured the Championship a high and proven standard of racing and regatta management but at the same time brought a bit of complexity into the scoring system setting up an overall and a national scoring, the latter meaning that to become a Champion of Russian Federation in sailing one needs to be a Russian national. This rule came into effect as the Russian-Spanish team New Territories unhesitatingly won the event in overall scoring with a masterful lead giving the team of Hugo Rocha, Alexey Semenov and Fran Palacio the title of the overall winners of the event. The title of the national Champion was still to be won by one of the teams, which skipper and at least one of the crew was Russian national.

In the fight for the national title early leaders team “Nordmarine” locked horns with yesterday’s second placed “Team Nika” of Vladimir Prosikhin. In the first race of the day “Nika” was ahead of the competitor but then Vladimir eased grips and finished two last races behind his rival. That allowed “Nordmarine” to climb to the overall second place and win the Russian Championship title. “It is surprising that we performed like that because this wind direction is good for us”, says Vladimir, now the Russian Championship silver medalist, “we were really in position to clinch the gold in national scoring but lost our chances. Anyway this is good training for upcoming worlds in Hyeres”.

“For us this victory came as a surprise” says former Dragon and 470 sailor Vladimir Uvarkin of “Nordmarine” team, “we were 10th last year, so we made a huge progress. Now we are seriously considering entering the Worlds 2013 if the rules permit us”.
Two more future entries to the Hyeres Worlds 2013 appeared in the top-five. Recent winners of the SB20 Grand Slam – Kirill Frolov’s “Melston Team” and Evgeniy Neugodnikov’s “Fishe” closed the regatta on tie-break with 37 points each. Overall forth place and bronze medal in national scoring was awarded to “Melston Team” due to their second place they have scored on 24th August. Anyway those teams will face each other very soon. “As a new team we were aiming for top-five overall and we achieved our goal despite we were close to top-three” says “Fishe” tactician Evgeniy Neugidnikov, “now we are more confident before Hyeres Worlds”.

“It is not surprising for me that I have to hand over the Russian Champion title to my friends from
“Nordmarine” team” says ex-Russian Champion and the President of Russian SB20 Association Oleg Zherebtsov, “after a really busy 2012 season I took some time off the water to focus on daily routine of the Russian Association”. Oleg’s international Russian-Portuguese “Dom Pedro” team opened the regatta on third place but slipped to seventh although they have won the last race. “The last race is a small overall relief for us”, Oleg comments, “and what I’m really happy about is that St.Petersburg showed itself as a perfect sailing venue. The national Championship was a good training for the upcoming Worlds for us as organizers and we feel reassured that next year Worlds will be a wonderful and successful event!”

Final results of the SB20 Russian Open Championship, overall and national scorings after 10 races and 2 discards:

1. ESP 3711 Hugo Rocha -15 – Overall winner
2. RUS 3507 Uvarkin Valentin – 27 – Russian National Champion
3. RUS 3709 Prosikhin Vladimir – 31
4. RUS 3301 Murashkin Alexey – 37
5. RUS 3468 Bunzya Aleksey – 37
6. RUS 3707 Pushev Vadim – 38
7. POR 3554 Ramada Paolo – 39
8. UKR 3074 Klochko Andrey – 40
9. RUS 373 Ivanovskiy Vladislav – 79
10. RUS 3656 Maksyutenko Andrey – 82

 

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