The practice before World Championship is now over and the winners are: WILDMAN AND PIROGOVO!
For the international Melges 20 fleet, the Open Russian Championship was a great warm up before the World Championship, which will also take place in Scarlino. For Russian teams it was not only practice for the World Championship, but also a brutal competition among themselves as they were competing also competing in separate Russian rankings.
We would like to congratulate Liam Kilroy with his Wildman for the overall victory of the Russian Open Championship! Alexandr Ezhkov’s PIRogovo has placed second, and the 3rd place went to Italian STIG of Alessandro Rombelli.
Among Russian teams, the champion is PIRogovo, silver has Yuriy Morozov’s Russotrans and bronze belongs to Igor Rytov’s ‘Russian Bogatyrs’.
Liam Kilroy’s WildMan started this regatta with 2 victories in a row, took a lead in the first day of competition and never gave it up. It is really hard for helmsmen-enthusiasts to compete with this almost professional team.
On the first day of the competition, Yuriy Morozov’s Russotrans were the closest with their results to WildMan. They have been practicing a lot in the USA this year and made acquaintance with the American strong and skilled fleet.
Egor Larionov shared his opinion with us: “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! It says a lot about the whole approach. 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. 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. We spent an even better first day on the Open Russian Championship. Overall we learned a lot in the USA and the most important of it all is that we got used to the strong wind.”
On the second and third day of the regatta in Scarlino, team PIRogovo became very active. This team, based in one of the Moscow yacht clubs, won on these days, which allowed them to take over Russotrans both in the competing with WildMan and in the Russian ranking.
Daniil Odintsov (PIRogovo): “PIRogovo races the best when the wind is weak, as we are 30 kilos below recommended weight for Melges 20… On Friday, the wind was extremely strong, however, Saturday and Sunday it became less strong and everything changed for us. We implemented our ideas and did not make serious mistakes. It’s really interesting that the fight for the win continues till the very end of the regatta. Every yachtsman wants to win with a large margin over the other teams, proceed to relax, and in the last day of competition finish with the smile on his face. However. on the Open Russian Championship all teams are extremely strong and very competitive and no one will give others the opportunity to win with a large margin. As it was shown everything is decided in the last day.”
“My impression of the regatta is amazing,” Alexandr Ezhkov (PIRogovo) says, “The weather was perfect, sun, sea, wind, cool people all around – overall positive feelings. We started of not-so glorious, even though being placed 13th among such strong teams is quite impressive. I think that on the last day when we won twice, we just got lucky. As I already said, all teams are extremely strong and everybody wanted to win.”
Last but not least we have couple of words from the winner of the Open Russian Championship Liam Kilroy “It was an awesome competition and I really enjoyed it. I would like to thank my father’s team Samba Pa Ti; they helped with our training so much. You probably are wondering if dad and I compete with each other. Of course not! We help each other and have so-called friendly competition. We work a lot so each of our teams will get better. We trained very hard for this competition and we are happy with the results. Now, before the World Championship starts I feel so much more confident. I hope we will get the same results as this time!”
The practice before World Championship is over now; we are awaiting the main regatta of the season. All teams, no matter winner or loser of the Open Russian Championship, are prepared to compete even harder. It is going to be interesting, especially when 30 teams will be added to the competition!