by Emma Upton
Heading into the third stage of the Optimists of the Northern Capital, the Gazprom Cup, Artyom Sudakov rules the men’s fleet and Anita Borkova sits on top of the women’s class. If they keep momentum both of these young sailors are in contention to win not only the third and fourth stages but also the final overall event to be announced at the end of August. The Optimist racers will head to the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (SPBYC) from the 24th to 28th July for their third stage racing, all eyes will be on the junior fleet where home grown talent Andrey Mikhailov (SPBYC) currently sits in second place and is closing in on his target of being number one.
The Gazprom Cup has inspired whole families to travel to SPBYC
This will be the most challenging stage of the four event series due to racing running over a longer five days in the heart of the Russian summer festival action. The Gazprom Cup will run simultaneously with Saint-Petersburg Classic Yacht Week, bringing old and new together to race in the Gulf of Finland. The classics will race on the 24th and 25th July providing the Optimist youths with an extra-ordinary element to their racing. The Russian youngsters will be experience marine heritage in action afloat, enjoying the sights of Nina at over a century old and Hortitsa weighing in above 30 tones.
The Gazprom Cup provides competition and great friendships © SPBYC 2013
Vladimir Liubomirov, Commodore at the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg is confident that the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg is capable of dual hosting and knows that this is a positive step for the Club.
'We are lucky that we have an excellent marina on our door step at SPBYC so we can easily host the classic yachts from around the world at the same time that we have our keenest youth racers situated in the dinghy park ashore for the Gazprom Cup competition. Not only will these two key events in the Club’s 2013 agenda provide quality racing, it will also create a festival atmosphere for all competitors enjoying the Russian White Nights'.
The aim of running both classic and youth regattas in close quarters embodies the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg’s philosophy of educating the next generation on Russia’s important marine heritage. This includes the influence of Peter the Great, founder of Saint Petersburg and a real seafarer himself having formed the first Russian Navy as far back as 1696. The Optimist sailors will also be able to take part in the Classic Yacht Week Festival, a brilliant opportunity for young people to touch upon marine culture, spirit of travel and beauty of antique vessels.
The women’s fleet has a large entry for 2013 © SPBYC 2013 - Optimists of the Northern Capital, Gazprom Cup
The fourth and final stage of the Optimists of the Northern Capital – The Gazprom Cup will be held from August 29th to 31st.
For further information on Saint-Petersburg Classic Yacht Week please visit the event website.