From January 13th till January 15th the Melges 20 fleet will be fighting for prizes at the fourth Act of the Dynamiq Yachts Melges 20 Monaco Winter Series, the Pirogovo Cup.
The results are quite defined for now, after three Acts. Two Russian teams, PIRogovo and Victor, are in the lead: both Alexander Ezhkov’s and Alexander Novoselov’s crews won one of the overall regattas and were in the lead in two others.
Their closest rival is Valentin Zavadnikov’s Synergy, who also won one of the regattas in Melges 20 Monaco Winter Series. Behind these top 3 teams are the following: Vadim Yakhinson’s Leviathan, Alexander Mikhaylik’s Alex Team, Maria Kaverzina’s Marussia and Leonid Altukhov’s PIRogovo Evolution.
Mag Tiny is on the 8th position in the Dynamiq Yachts Melges20 Monaco Winter Series. This Polish team won the December regatta from PIRogovo by just one point, and in November on Act 2 was placed second. However Mag Tiny did not participate in the first Act of the season, and they cannot rise in the rankings due to the received penalty points.
We would like to remind you that all races are counted in the Dynamiq Yachts Melges20 Monaco Winter Series, and the release of the worst results happen after 6th, 12th, 18th, 24th, 30th and 42nd race. That means that every strong team has equal chances to be in the lead, despite the good or not so start of the season.
Flashing back to December regatta, the Beluga Cup, the races were held only on one day out of three planned, which could have led to unpredictable results. However that did not happen and three front runners were Mag Tiny, PIRogovo and Victor.
"Monaco cheered us up with uncommonly warm December, but sadly there was almost no wind at all," Alexander Ekimov (PIRogovo) shared, "We were waiting for wind and races for two days… Sunday we got lucky, at 9.30 fleet was already at the sea and races started right on schedule at 10.00. During the first race, there was sea wind with speed of 6-8 knots. We had a good start, but on the first tacking we made a mistake and arrived at the first pin sixth. However, we finished on the third place in this race because of good speed, correct maneuvers, and excellent tactics. The second race, on the other hand, was not so successful. We made way too many mistakes, and even though we could get closer to the podium we did not take out chances, and the result was the 6th place. Meanwhile, the wind got stronger, 10-11 knots. Third and fourth races were incredible: we were in the lead on the first pin, had good speed, controlled the fleet and finished first with good from others. As the result of the regatta, we got the second place. We were behind Polish team by just one point, outrun them in 3 out of 4 races. Alexander Novoselov’s team did very well, but due to a bad start in the last race they are 3rd in the overall standings now".
And here are some comments on the Beluga Cup from the bow of Victor, Egor Larionov:
"This regatta wasn’t bad at all, we had great speed both while tacking and broad reach. Of course, the absence of the wind influenced the results of this regatta. We won the first race because we had a good start. We were second-third on the upper pin, and then with some speed we started leading. On the second race we had a good start in the middle of the line, and even with 20 degree set of the wind, we stayed in the leading group. During the third race, we were incredibly lucky: the wind shifted on 30 degrees, during couple times in tacking we were first, couple times we were last. In the end, we were fifth and last ones in the leading group. It seemed to me that our leading group was ahead of the fleet by 100 meters. Of course, we tried to fight, but the wind made it so that everyone was heading to the finish with the same tack. Before the last race started, the wind weakened, also we made a mistake – collided into the starting pin. So we had to make a penalty turn and try to reach the others. Obviously, it was quite a shame, the gap was too big. But we got a hold of it, fought for every point to stay on the podium. In the end, even though Beluga Cup lasted only one day, it had good wind. Everyone is glad, but also have a lot to work on".
Tomorrow races of the fourth Act of the Dynamiq Yachts Melges20 Monaco Winter Series, Pirogovo Cup start.
All leaders and contenders are ready to race in Monaco. We will keep you posted!
Keep up with the races here (3D tracking available).
See results here.