by Cailah Leask
The Gazprom Cup, held on 26th and 27th May, is the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg’s 2012 youth sailing event programme opener. The Optimists of the Northern Capital raced this weekend in the first of this four event series with another two events scheduled throughout the summer and the ultimate event during September. Attracting 70 entries from across Russia the first event successfully involved a strong youth sailing contingent.
70 Children entered the first event of the Gazprom Cup hosted by the Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg - Gazprom Cup 2012
Organized by the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg (SPBYC) the event series is aimed at developing youth sailing within the region. Through support from Gazprom the goal is to produce a social set of competitions that benefit the youths by producing a fun environment to race in. Aleksey Miller, previously Chairman of the Board of Directors at Gazprom and now Honorable Member of the SPBYC explained the importance of the youth focus for the event series, 'we are doing everything we can to raise a strong, healthy and developed generation of sporting enthusiasts. I am very confident about the collaboration between Gazprom and the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, this will be a long-term and close relationship'.
For many of the entries this was their first competitive sporting event that they have taken part in with ages ranging from 7 up to 14 years. The Optimist is the dinghy of choice for the event series due to the majority of Russian based children learning in this model straight from their time at Sailing Schools. A large number of the competitors graduated from the SPBYC onsite Children’s Sports Club and are now part of the Yacht Club’s youth sailing section ‘Parusnik’.
Held inshore at Saint-Petersburg all four events are ideally suited to maximize spectator viewing with award ceremonies for each event being hosted on shore by the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, as well as a final overall presentation from the Gazprom prize fund.
Winner of the first event in the series, Optimist sailor Bogdan Golovnin will look to defend his pole position at the next Optimists of the Northern Capital event to be held on June 3rd at SPBYC.
Gazprom povided Optimists to all sailors to ensure children from all backgrounds could take part - Gazprom Cup 2012
Vladimir Liubomirov, Commodore, Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, who initiated the strong youth focus at the venue was on hand to present prizes for the first event of the series commenting, 'we are delighted to have had 70 children at our season opener event this year. The Gazprom Cup is the ideal competitive event to get youths enjoying racing at the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg. We make it a priority that all entrants can use the Gazprom Optimists to ensure children from across different backgrounds are included in the on water fun.
Optimists of the Northern Capital – The Gazprom Cup – Series Schedule:
Event 1 26th - 27th May
Event 2 3rd June
Event 3 27th July – 2nd August
Event 4 2nd September
Commodore of the SPBYC Vladimir Liubomirov (far left) assists in the opening of the Optimists of the Northern Capital event series - Gazprom Cup 2012
Bogdan Golovnin shows his winning Gazprom Trophy to the other 70 youth entrants © SPBYC 2012.jpg Bogdan Golovnin shows his winning Gazprom Trophy to the other 70 youth entrants - Gazprom Cup 2012
Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg website