One of the most amazing offshore regattas, the Quantum Ladoga Cup, was held in the northern part of Ladoga Lake (Russia), on July 22-30.
In the past years, after its revival, this regatta became one of the most significant events of Russian sailing and the only regatta on the Ladoga Lake, the biggest lake in Europe. Traditionally, the organizer of the Ladoga Cup is the Open 800 Class Association, with the everlasting support of the main sponsor, Quantum Sails Russia, the world leader in the sail making industry.
This year Quantum Ladoga Cup gathered teams from Moscow and its region, St. Petersburg and its region, Crimea (Kerch), Vladivostok and two teams from Belarus.
A highly qualified judiciary board, headed by Andrey Latinov, provided an excellent sports component to the regatta. The jury managed to hold eleven races, more than 250 nm combined, in the uneasy weather conditions.
The nature on the Ladoga Lake is so beautiful, which makes this place perfect for cruise yachts racing. The northern Ladoga is perfect: rocky granite banks and cliffs, clusters of islands and entire archipelagoes. There are also quite a few historic places and monuments, such as Valaam Island, Ruskeala Nature Park, and many others. The participants of the regatta visited almost all of them!
Despite the rainy summer in that region, the weather on Ladoga Lake surprised everyone with sun and relatively stable winds, which certainly helped to complete the entire planned racing program. Only Race 10 from Valaam Island to Sortavala was shortened.
The regatta started July 23 in Priozersk with the first short race of 4 miles. Dmitriy Zhaivoronok’s Omega from St. Petersburg, the winner of Ladoga Cup 2016, handled that race the best in the light wind conditions with 14 knots of breeze that day. Their main rival, Andrei Nikandrov’s Globus, drowned the gennaker and finished only third, after Alaska.
Right after the finish of the first race, the second race began: 45 miles from Priozersk to Lahdenpohja. Omega was leading from the very start; Globus was right behind her, fighting for the runner up position with Vostok, helmed by Taras Obruch from Kerch. By the time the yachts went around the Perya-Kilpisaret Island Omega was in the lead by 300 meters. After that, going downwind, the rivals got closer. When yachts reached the island Situ, Andrei Nikandrov of team Globus took a chance and, by following a risky isobath, became the leader of the race. Then the long tacking started and rivals parted. Omega used the wind to its advantage and pulled ahead, but later Globus took the lead back. On the next pin, the yachts went face-to-face and the sailing duel determined the outcome of the race. Omega finished first, Globus was second and Vostok – third.
On July 24th two more short races were held in the Lahdenpohja gulf. The distance could be set up very close to the city, at the same time the whole water area could be used. Races turned out to be very dynamic, with good length and intrigue until the finish. Leaders of the first day, Omega and Globus, were tied in the rankings. In Race 3 Omega finished first, ahead of Globus only by half of the hull. In Race 4 situation was reversed: Globus beat Omega by 5 seconds, but neither of them won the race and they were placed 3rd and 4th respectively. Vostok was victorious in Race 4, and the runner up was Etalon of Artem Sarksyan.
The fleet started the longest race around Valaam Island with the finish in Sortavala on the same evening, after a short rest. Vostok started off very well, Globus and Omega were right behind him. After reaching the Toriluodt Island the 20 mile night tacking started, and the fleet went different directions. Omega and Vostok chose the route along the Valaam Island, Globus and the rest of the fleet went north. Closer to the Toriluodt Island Globus and Omega confronted each other again, and their personal heads up lasted almost until the finish. Until the entrance to the Sortavala gulf Omega was slightly ahead of Globus, but with the code-0, Globus snatched the lead and finished with a ten-minute advantage over Omega. Vostok finished third, Alyaska, Etalon, Kamchatka, and Kurazh finished after.
Three more short races were held on July 26th in Sortavala. Omega won every single one of them, Globus finished second in all races and Etalon finished third twice. That evening, the Open 800 Class Association organized the beautiful evening reception with presents and games.
July 27th was a busy day for everyone: two races were held, to Valaam Island and back, with a three-hour walk on the island. Omega won the race on the way to the Valaam, Vostok finished second, Alyaska third, Globus came only fifth. On the way back Globus was leading, but Vostok snatched its victory. Omega finished third.
The last race to Priozersk with the distance of 65 miles started in the morning of July 28th. This was probably the hardest race of all; sailors did not have any powers left. Even the wind got tired and stopped for some time. The first yachts finished the regatta at around three in the morning on July 29th. Both overall and last race victory belongs to Omega, Globus was placed second in both nominations, Vostok was third.
Quantum Ladoga Cup is one of the few Russian offshore regattas. Organizers are certain that next year the Quarter Ton class and classic L6 Class will join the Open 800 Class.
Quantum Sails Russia is the world leader in sails making industry. The company has been on the Russian market for several years and many sailors have had the opportunity to test and appreciate the Quantum Sails, and achieve great victories both in Russia and on the international level. This is the third year in a row that Quantum Sails Russia is the main sponsor of the Ladoga Cup. "We want this regatta to thrive and to become the main sailing even for cruise fleet in the north-west region of Russia," says Maxim Logutenko, the representative of the Quantum Sails Russia.
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