Monday, 13 June 2011

Sails of White Nights : Andrey Arbuzov Wins, and Gains Entry to Stena Match Cup Sweden

Andrey Arbuzov with the winners' trophy. Image copyright Sail of White Nights.

by Yana Dobzhitskaya

On Saturday, the 11th of June, the second round-robin has come to the end and semifinals have also taken place. As a result Russian and Finnish crews will compete for the main prize: on Sunday Andrew Arbuzov (RUS) will face Staffan Lindberg (FIN).

The day before organizers hadn't enough time to hold only 4 flights of the second round-robin – with them the regatta was renewed early in the morning. The remained starts of round-robin have seriously affected places in the semifinal: if Andrew Arbuzov remained the leader, then New Zealander William Tiller who had been the second, wasn’t able to get a place in the final four. He was left behind by Simone Ferrarese (Italy), Staffan Lindberg (Finland) and Sergey Musikhin (Russia). Andrew Arbuzov who had the greatest number of victories in two round-robins, was the trendsetter in semifinal races: he chose Sergey Musikhin as a rival for himself. The second semifinal pair was formed by foreign sportsmen.

“I participate in this regatta for the fifth time and I know water area of Neva very well, - Andrew Arbuzov says. Sergey Musikhin impressed us during round-robins and proved his high class. He’s a convenient contender for me, and it‘s quite comfortable to compete with him. As for Simone Ferrarese I can tell that he’s a talented racer too. 2-3 years ago I didn't take him seriously, but now he has become a perfect skipper. As for the Finn Lindberg – he is a well-known yachtsman, and for any racer he will be a serious contender”.

Semi-finals were held till three victories of any participant. Andrew Arbuzov's crew has won duel with the representative of Ekaterinburg with the account 3:0. And the rivalry of Finn and Italian was stretched to a full series – both crews have won two races, therefore the fifth one became decisive. It has begun with collision of yachts: boats went in parallel to each other with a small separation. Simone Ferrarese has made a turn on the right tack, having got the advantage of the road. But he hasn't left the rival’s crew possibility to turn, as maneuver has been made too close and quickly. As a result the yacht of Finns ran into the left board of the Italian boat. The Italians weres recognized guilty: got a penalty and as result – the race was lost. And Staffan Linberg became the finalist of the regatta.

- We tried to pass Ferrarese’s yacht behind, but couldn't. So the collision is not our fault. It wasn’t an easy day – one strained race was replaced by another. We are very tired, and I am grateful to my crew which had given all the best! In the evening we should rest properly. Tomorrow it is necessary to work seriously: Andrew Arbuzov is an excellent racer, whom it will be difficult to fight with. Moreover he knows these boats well.

On Sunday the regatta will start with final races. Afterwards flit-flight will take place. 6 crews will fight for an additional prize from sponsors. For 6 PM the press conference with organizers and sportsmen is planned. And at 7 PM the main event - award ceremony and closing of the sixth international regatta “Sails of White Nights. The National Congress Palace Cup” - will take place.

However, Sunday brought no wind, and the finals could not be held, so, on countback, Andrey Arbuzov (RUS) was declared the 2011 winner.

Sails of White Nights-the National Congress Palace Cup-2011
Overall results

1- Andrew Arbuzov RUS, Moscow
2- Staffan Lindberg FIN
3- Sergey Musikhin RUS, Ekaterinburg
4- Simone Ferrarese ITA
5- William Tiller NZL
6- David Chapman AUS
7- Maxim Taranov RUS, Volgodonsk
8- Peter Wibroe DEN
9- Marek Stanczyk POL
10- Ekaterina Kutovaya RUS, Vladivostok

Sails of White Nights