Russian armada sets the pace in Cascais for early 2020

It was a good start for Vasily Grigoriev and team MST (Maxim Kuzmin, Mikhail Markin) already on Friday with a pre-race training organized by SailCascais where seven boats have participated. As they won the “SailCascais Port Wine Warm Up” with the main trophy of a bottle of Port the expectations were high into the weekend. The tricky Cascais forecast however had a difficult challenge for the 40-strong fleet on the first event of Cascais SB20 Worlds year.

Having left the dock on time for the first scheduled race at 13:00 the fleet discovered shifty conditions causing the RC to raise the AP flag for delay. Shortly after the first start attempt with a general recall, the sailors were forced to switch the waiting mode on until around 15:00 when the wind has finally stabilized. The warm and sunny day made this waiting almost a pleasant experience for most of the foreign teams, who came from the UK, Belgium, Holland, France, Russia and Ireland – who obviously apreciated the opportunity to use their summer sailing gear! The SB20 Class president Jerry Dowling and triple World Champion Geoff Carveth highlighted the list for what was promising to be a hot regatta.

Shifting from East to Northwest and varying between 5-7 knots the wind made the RC work hard to pull out the first race. The honors of the first finish were granted to team Am Rusarc of Anastasia Morozova with 2016 420 World Champion Diogo Costa calling tactics followed by Puss Puss / SailCascais of Vasco Serpa. Closing the first race Top 3 was Francisco Neto on Guto who sailed well from first beat and managed to maintain their position. Causing worries to the winners were Henrique Haddad, current Snipe World champion from Brazil, on OpenBar who finished right behind Guto in 4th and the Port Wine winner Vasily Grigoriev on MST in 5th.

For the second race it was the turn of local team Patris Corretora of Vasco Passanha, sailing with Olimpian Diana Neves, Frederico Lacerda and Nuno Bajanca, to cross the finish line in first followed by Vasily Grigoriev’s MST.

Closing the podium of the second race was Skin in the Game of Ed Russo, Gilles Favennec and Mikael Mergui who were testing Cascais waters for the first time after the 2019 Worlds in Hyères.

The long day was rewarded with a beautiful return to the marina in spectacular sunset. It was a quick warm up for the fleet ashore where the friendly CNCascais bar was waiting with drinks and hot food. The forecast for Day 2 was for another slow start with potentially 10 knots from the South after midday. Consistency was key to maintain the results for what could be a short day on the water due to time limit of 15:00.

The second day of the 3rd Cascais SB20 Winter Series started with AP flag still at the Club and made the sailors wait till 13:45 when the RC finally managed to get some stable wind of around 7 knots. The fleet of 40 boats found the racing area with SW wind in addition to a strong current that complicated the lives of many competitors. Vasily Grigoriev along with many others has favoured the right side of the course closer to the shore. But the wind drop to 4 knots made it hard for the fleet round the 1st windward mark and stretched the fleet far from the leaders leaving no chance for a comeback. Those top teams nailed their tactics and secured a win during the second upwind run that was shortened to 0,35 nm.

This single tricky race of the second day was won by Ed Russo’s – Skin in the Game followed by British John Pollard’s team Xcellent with Rob Smith and Jack Weatheral. Closing the podium of this race was Brazilian Henrique Haddad sailing with Pedro Caldas, Mário Trindade, 2019 J70 world champion, and Bernardo Gamboa.

“We want to race today. We want to win,” – threw with a smile Anastasia Morozova when the possibility to race on Sunday started to look difficult and we were congratulating her for her potential 2nd place in the event. Eventually she got what she wanted and delivered as on the edge the Race Comittee sent everyone to the water and managed to pull one race.

In very tricky conditions of very light wind and a bit of tide, and while other contenders were struggling on the race course, Anastasia & Co hold their nerve and finished the race in 7th, enough to secure her team the victory on the 3rd event of SB20 Cascais Winter Series.

Final Top 3 results were as follows:

  1. AM Rusarc by Anastasia Morozova, Diogo Costa, Danill Banayan and Aida Maxinova
  2. Skin in the Game by Edward Russo, Gilles Favennec and Mikael Mergui
  3. OpenBar by Henrique Haddad, Pedro Caldas, Mário Trindade and Bernardo Gamboa

Very close competition with the difference between 2nd and 8th place of only four points! Another great weekend of sailing in Cascais organised by Clube Naval de Cascais with light winds, bluebird skies, mild temperatures and a lot of happy faces.  Click here for full results

It was great to see the mixed gender and mixed nationality team winning the Game! It should inspire other sailors to open crew spots for women as well as motivate more sailing girls to jump into SB20 action. To motivate the ladies Vasco Serpa, co-president of SB20 Portugal, announced that the coming SB20 World Championship in Cascais will award the best Women’s team with a World title. Moreover he invited all sailors for his pre-race training aka “SailCascais Port Wine Warm Up Series” on Fridays before each event not only to win a bottle of Port, but to prepare for the weekend. Great news, Vasco!

Next event is only in one month time at the end of the longest Feruary for the last four years – 29th Feb to 1st March 2020 at the same place, Clube Naval de Cascais. Registrations are already open!

Text & photos by Anna Zykova / SailCascais / Clube Naval de Cascais

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