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Russian J/70 Sailing League 2019 stormy kick-off!

by J-boats 31 Mar 03:50 PDT
Russian J/70 Sailing League 2019 © Andrej Sheremetyev

Hosted by Sochi Grand Marina by Burevestnik Group, the fifth season of the Russian J/70 Sailing League kicked-off this past weekend in Sochi, Russia, with sailing taking place on the eastern reaches of the Black Sea.

In five acts over the 2019 season, with one big final in Kaliningrad in early August, the Russian teams competed to qualify for the SAILING Champions League 2020. In the end, each team sailed six races with AXMAT Team winning, followed by the famous ArtTUBE RUS1 Sailing Team led by Valeriya Kovalenko, and RUS7 in third position. Here is how it all went down in the battle off Sochi.

Day 1 - Beautiful spring day

Who were the protagonists for the first event of the season? Many of the best yachtsmen in Russia joined some of the twenty-three teams participating from across the country.

Those teams included Burevestnik Sailing Team (former Leviathan) (co-driver Maxim Titarenko), ArtTUBE RUS1 (Valeria Kovalenko), Calipso (Maxim Taranov), the Academy of Sailing of the Yacht Club of St. Petersburg (Anna Basalkina), "Pirogovo" (Yuri Morozov), RUS7 "Sail Lord — ASIA" (Vyacheslav Yermolenko), "Sail Lord – EUROPE (Andrey Ryzhov), NAVIGATOR Trem (Alexandra Peterson), Rocknrolla Sailing Team (Andrey Novikov), X-Fit (Vladimir Silkin), RUS7 (Sergey Shevtsov), "Region-23" (Evgeny Nikiforov), CSKA (Mikhail Poslamovsky), Black Sea (Andrei Malygin), Resurskomplekt (Oleg Tikhonov), "Komatek" (Vyache Lav Frolov), USC (Edward Skornyakov), East-West (Andrey Zuev), ZID art Sailing team (Zoran Paunovich), Parusnik74.ru (Edward Podshivalov), Winner Sailing Team (Alexander Mikhailov), Matryoshka (Natalia Kravets) and Akhmat (Alexander Bozhko).

For the first day of competition, the fleet was treated to unusual spring weather for Sochi, warm, stable winds, sunny, and great sailing! Twelve races were held on the first day. The results were very, very close. NAVIGATOR Trem (2-1-7-2), East-West (2-2-7-1), RUS7 (1-3-5-2), Calipso (1-4-1-3) and Akhmat (3-1-2-1) were essentially all nearly tied on points- just three points separating the top crews. ArtTUBE RUS1 and BLACK SEA had a smooth day. The ZID art Sailing team would have taken off much higher than their position in the middle of the table, if were not for their BFD in two races (yes, they were fast and recovered fast!).

Day 2 - The storm obscures the sky...

On Saturday, the racing day was cut short by a storm front. Nevertheless, it was a very intense day of sailing. Only four races were sailed in total, without completing a full round.

The first three races were relatively calm. But, the fourth race looked like a mini-Volvo Ocean Race! Cold, white mist, winds gusting to 35 knots, waves sweeping boats sideways. So much for sunny, spring-like Sochi...

In such extreme conditions, the skill of the crew and coordination around the course was critical to success. Mistakes were very costly.

Winning the fourth and most epic race was Akhmat Racing Team. Sailing boldly, faster, and more confident than ever were Alexander Bozhko, Roman Konstantinov, Oleg Kuzmin, Alexander Andrianov and Boris Kucherenko. Just behind them, Zoran Paunovich, Evgeny Neugodnikov, Sergey Volchkov and Daniil Banayan from ZID art Sailing Team planed wildly to the finish line to take second place. And in seconds, finishing third in a cloud of spray was Maxim Titarenko, Vadim Yakhinson, Maxim and Mikhail Sheremetyev from Burevestnik Sailing Team.

Day 3 - Sunny Finale

After a stormy Saturday afternoon, Sochi presented the teams with wonderful sunny weather and the opportunity to conduct another fourteen very intense races.

Winning the final day by a landslide was ArtTUBE RUS1 (Valeria Kovalenko), with three 1sts in five races. The surprise of the day was the two victories by Region-23, skippered by Yevgeny Nikiforov.

Nevertheless, it was the first premiere National Sailing League regatta for the Chechen Republic team AKHMAT skippered by Alex Bozhkov. In the finale, they managed to snatch their victory from some of the pre-eminent Russian J/70 sailing teams. As a result, they won on a tie-breaker on 2.9 pts average over Kovalenko's ArtTUBE RUS1. Third place went to RUS7 skipper Sergey Shevtsov.

nationalsailingleague.com/content/news

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