Tsaar Peter into the lead
The two teams representing Saint Petersburg Yacht Club, Bronenosec helmed by Commodore Vladimir Liubomirov and Tsaar Peter, crewed by the Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, dominated the first day of racing races one and two respectively among the seven boat fleet at the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship at Copa del Rey MAPFRE.
Racing on a course east of the Bay of Palma, in a gently building sea breeze from 210° that peaked at 12 knots, in the first race Bronenosec led off the line to windward of the fleet throughout the race to take the first gun. Tsaar Peter pushed hard on the heels of their compatriots to take second while Petit Flamme provided a clean sweep for Russian teams.
With competition fierce between the Swan 60s, was best demonstrated by the four general recalls before the Race Committee was able to get race two underway. Four of the fleet were still over the line and had to return to re-start - Bronenosec, Windward, Spirit of Europe and Petit Flamme. Meanwhile Tsaar Peter made a clean start from the pin end, leading out to the left corner. After tacking she crossed the fleet to lead around the windward mark from where she extended her lead to take the race win as the sea breeze dropped to 7 knots and the Race Committee shortened course by 0.2 nm. SGM, crewed by the German Offshore Challenger team from the NRV, sailed cleanly to take second with the new Chinese entry, Windward, took third.
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 4th 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 with the Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge on Tsaar Peter 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.”
Racing resumes tomorrow, when the Gazprom Swan 60 fleet will move to course area Bravo, located further offshore on the Bay of Palma.
1. Tsaar Peter (RUS) 2, 1 – 3
2. Bronenosec (RUS) 1, 4 – 5
3. SGM (GER) 6,2 – 8
4. Petite Flamme (RUS) 3, 7 – 10
5. Vertical Smile (DEN) 5, 5 – 10
6. Spirit of Europe (BVI) 4, 6 – 10
7. Windward (CHN) DSQ, 3 - 11