Congratulations to 2017 Melges 20 European Champions Igor Rytov at the helm of Russian Bogatyrs and crew members Konstantin Besputin and Anton Sergeev. From the early beginning, they gained the overall lead, but Rytov admits that getting to the top of this incredible Melges 20 World League fleet was not easy, and staying there was no easy task either.
"Today was really tough. It was us against the entire fleet," said Rytov. "Our closest opponents proved to be very strong, attempting to put us in trouble at every turn."
"Fortunately, we were able to withstand the heavy pressure and react, a direct result of our hard training in the U.S.A. and Europe. As seen today, it rewarded us well. So, we celebrate today and return to a serious focus tomorrow because the season is not over. We are not only fighting to be victorious in the overall Melges 20 World League, but also want to do well at the Worlds in October," concluded Rytov.
Rytov's stiff competition never let up on trying to push and intimidate him at every possible opportunity, forcing him to regroup on the run-in positions. Fellow Russian competitor Alexander Novoselov's Victor and Alessandro Rombelli's Stig/Openjobmetis were left to settle finishing second and third respectively with only a couple of points of separation.
Orel Kalomeni's Arcora finished fourth overall, followed by Melges 20 Class veteran Achille Onorato's Mascalzone Latino Jr. getting fifth.
The last two races of the 2017 European Championship were happily awarded to Krzysztof Krempec on Mag Tiny (Race Seven) and Matteo Marenghi Vaselli on Raya (Race Eight).
In the Corinthian division, it was an exciting final day as Marco Giannini's Evinrude pulled ahead to beat Marina Kaverzina's Marussia for the highly-coveted all-amateur 2017 Melges 20 Corinthian Championship title.
Results are available here.