Melges 20 Open Russian Championship: Day 1

American WildMan is in the lead!

The program of the first day of races has been fully carried out, thanks to the best possible wind.

The leader after 3 races is the American WildMan. They came first twice and once second and so far it is the best result. This is especially notable, since the helmsman, Liam Kilroy, is 13 years old.

The best Russian team at the end of the day was Yuriy Morozov’s Russotrans. He placed 5th, 2nd, and 1st in today’s regatta. Third place was taken by Igor Rytov’s Russian Bogatyrs (2-6-6).

These results for Russotrans are not accidental at all – they spent the whole winter in the USA, competing with the extremely powerful American fleet. The start of the Open Russian Championship showed that their US venture was not spent in vain.

Melges 20 Open Russian Championship: Day 1

Egor Larionov, the bow of Russotrans, shared his impressions of their American voyage:

"There are always a lot of Melges 20 yachts racing in the USA. If a regatta starts on the weekend, participants will usually come on Monday to train on the spot. For example, Samba Pa Ti and WildMan start their trainings 2 weeks before the start! Of course, they are all locals, so they don’t have to travel far but it still says a lot about the whole attitude. The thing is that in the USA people who race on the regattas of Melges 20 are mostly ex-sportsmen. They are the owners of boats and are very into sailing. They spend a lot of time preparing their yachts, powering them up, and in general approach the whole process in more serious way. Moreover, the level of all yachtsmen there is quite high: most of them were sailing since they were kids. Sometimes they had a break in between but then came back into it with more knowledge. To exemplify their level of training: at the Winter Series in Monaco there are approximately 10 yachts broaches for downwind, and in Miami, where the wind is always very strong, no yacht broaches at all. Everyone’s maneuvers are very good, the distance between competitors is minimal. There you can come first and then 30th, and even for the last place you will have to fight. No one will give you anything ‘for free’ there.

The training system of the strongest teams is worth mentioning. Kilroy junior is extremely young, but he has great sailing and racing experience. I heard that before last years’ World Championship they trained in San-Francisco for 100 days. It’s no mystery why they won it. They have a really cool attitude towards it, and as we can see it’s been very fruitful.

It was very difficult for us to compete with them. During the first race they were bypassing us so fast that it seemed like we have a bucket tied to the boat dragging behind us. We set up the boat and started sailing next to them. Today we spent an even better day on the Open Russian Championship.

Of course, we learnt a lot in the USA. Our results speak for themselves: we grew up and didn’t just have a nice vacation there. The main achievement of that training is that we got used to the strong wind; in Miami the wind is usually 25 knots. Now we have to adjust to the light wind – we have been practicing with a coach in Scarlino for a week already. He trained us before the Open Russian Championship and he will be helping during the regattas. It’s really good to have an outside person to look at us from the sidelines, because sometimes you can’t see things when you are onboard.

So what did he tell us today? That we should get to the clear wind as soon as possible, and other obvious things. We all know about it, but it never hurts to be reminded once again."

This Saturday on the Open Russian Championship 3 races are planned. The regatta will finish on August 21st.