Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship - Russians dominate opening day

Russian Swan 60s dominate the first day of the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship
At the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship, the two teams representing Saint Petersburg Yacht Club, Bronenosec (RUS) helmed by Commodore Vladimir Liubomirov and Tsaar Peter (RUS) crewed by the Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, dominated the first day of racing. The event is held in conjunction with the 33 Copa del Rey Mapfre in Palma winning races one and two apiece.

Racing on course area Charlie, located to the east of the Bahia de Palma, with a gently building sea breeze from 210° that peaked at 12 knots, the first race of the championship was won by Bronenosec (RUS) who led from the line with a superb start to windward of the fleet throughout the race to take the first gun. Tsaar Peter (RUS), the youth team from the same yacht club, pushed hard on the heels of their compatriot to take second place and confirm their status as contenders for the World Championship. Petit Flamme (RUS) rounded out the top three with a clean sweep for the Russian teams.

With competition fierce between the seven Swan 60s, the class triggered four general recalls before the Race Committee were able to get them away for race 2. Four of the fleet were still over the line and had to return to re-start, Bronenosec (RUS), Windward (CHN), Spirit of Europe (BVI) and Petit Flamme (RUS). This left Tsaar Peter (RUS) able to make a clean start from the pin end and lead out to the left corner. One tack and they crossed the fleet and led around the first windward mark from where they extended their lead to take the race win as the sea breeze dropped to seven knots and the Race Committee shortened the legs of the course by 0.2 nm. SGM (GER), crewed by the German Offshore Challenger team from the NRV sailed cleanly to take second place and the new Chinese entry, Windward, improved upon their first race result to take third.

Swan 60 Bronenosec at the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship 2014

Tommaso Chieffi, tactician onboard Bronenosec commented: 'It was the first day and we felt very good, very solid. In the first race there was a bit of traffic from a big boat on the first beat where we were crossing tacks so we had to make decisions we wouldn’t have had to if we were on our own. We managed to come out just ahead of our opposition so felt pleased. After that we maintained a small lead over Tsaar Peter to the finish.

'Race 2 was a bit frustrating with the recalls. We managed to get round the top mark in fourth place then there was a big big shift and a big lull on the second run where we gybed early which was a mistake. The Chinese team on Windward pushed all the way to the left hand corner and managed to close a lot of distance and on the second beat they managed to get a jump on us which is how close this week is. It is going to be an interesting championship!'

Denis Shari, Trimmer, Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge on Tsaar Peter (RUS) commented: 'We have spent ten days already training very hard and we now have a really good result. The main tactic we used was to have the best start of the fleet with the best boat speed and to be first round the mark; we have been practising our starts a lot in training, everything depends on it in a one design fleet like the Gazprom Swan 60 Class and we found our practise really paid off. I am looking forward to the rest of the week with optimism'

Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship 2014

Sergey Borodinov, Team Coach, Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge on Tsaar Peter (RUS) added: 'It was the perfect day for the team today; we had a fantastic start in the first race and a good start in the second race, the helmsman worked well today and ten days of training really paid off. We will do our best to keep up the good start for the rest of the series, and we look to build on our success tomorrow, it is important that the crew concentrate well now and are not too self-assured after today’s result.'

The overall standings at the end of day one see Tsaar Peter (RUS) leading the World Championship with the defending Champions onboard Bronenosec (RUS) two points behind in second place. Windward (CHN) lies two points further back in third.

Racing resumes tomorrow, Tuesday 5 August, at 13.00 when the Gazprom Swan 60 fleet will move to course area Bravo, located further offshore in the Bahia de Palma.

Provisional Results:
Tsaar Peter (RUS) 2 – 1 – Total 3
Bronenosec (RUS) 1 – 4 – Total 5
SGM (GER) 6 – 2 – Total 8
Petite Flamme (RUS) 3 – 7 – Total 10
Vertical Smile (DEN) 5 – 5 – Total 10
Spirit of Europe (BVI) 4 – 6 – Total 10
Windward (CHN) DSQ - 3 - Total 11

Swan 60 website