Saturday, 11 June 2011
Light winds on the Neva river at the start of Sails of White Nights. Image copyright Sails of White Nights.
by Yana Dobzhitskaya
On Friday the regatta " Sails of White Nights » witnessed one more historical event: for the first time in six years of regatta’s life the organizers have practically completed the second round-robin.
Struggle for points at the aqua territory went on all day long. Since morning the yachtsmen were pleased with the steady wind whose impulses reached 7 meters per second. As a result the day proved to be rather hot for judges and sportsmen: they have held 10 flights in spite of 28 degree heat. Undue incidents also have taken place. William Tiller yacht’s helm has been damaged during a strained fight with the leader of the rating Peter Wibroe.
“It has happened almost right after the start, on the first loop, - the New Zealander tells. - we led the race with a serious advantage, and what’s the most annoying – our contender already had got a penalty. So our chances were excellent. But then the rush has come, and we have heard a deaf sound. The yacht suddenly became completely uncontrollable. We have been moved to the middle of the river by the current – directly on the waterway. Fortunately, the emergency boat has arrived at once and has helped us to reach the pontoon where the yacht has been repaired. We didn't run aground, we didn’t touch anything, so it is not our fault. But all the same we lost the race – and this vexes us most of all! We have sent our protest to the racing committee and hope that the repeated race will be appointed."
Andrey Arbuzov's crew remains the leader of the race. The skilled yachtsman has lost only twice in 16 races – to the compatriot Sergey Musikhin and Italian Simone Ferrarese. Many contenders mention his ability to work with the current: though the Muscovite participates in the regatta for the sixth year in succession, even this time he visited the water area not in the race time to study all directions of currents. And he used antiquated method: threw the pieces of paper in the water and tried to remember, where and with what speed they were carried away.
- There are no great changes, the current is the same, - Andrew Arbuzov says. - The technique of the turns is more important in this competition. Yesterday, for example, the wind was weaker and it was easier to race for us. And today the wind has blown, and it became more difficult for us to maneuver. So the one who is faster and the one who changes tacks more accurately has better chances to win.
Andrew Arbuzov is followed by several racers: New Zealander William Tiller, who had problems with the helm (11 victories), Sergey Musikhin from Ekaterinburg (10), Finn Staffan Lindberg (10) and Italian Simone Ferrarese (9 victories).
On Saturday the race will start with the remained 4 flights of the second round-robin. After them semi-finals are planned. It’s quite pleasant that the weather forecast is fine: the sun and steady wind approximately 5 meters per second are predicted. And for Sunday when the endings are planned, the weather forecast is worse: a wind only about 2 km/s which is too weak for sailing. So for yachtsmen it is important not to lose any start tomorrow, as the winners – in the absence of the wind – will be defined by the results of Saturday races.
Note from SailRaceWin: Full Metal Jacket (Will Tiller, NZL) mentioned that their rudder had snapped in half during one match. This is the incident described above.
Round Robins One (9 matches) + Two (number of matches)
Wibroe (DEN) 3 (9) + 2 (5)
Lindberg (FIN) 6(9) + 3 (4)
Ferrarese (ITA) 7 (9) + 2 (3)
Tiller (NZL) 7 (9) + 3 (5)
Kutovaya (RUS) 1 (9) + 0 (0)
Chapman (AUS) 3 (9) + 1 (5)
Stanczyk (POL) 1 (9) + 2 (6)
Arbuzov (RUS) 8 (9) + 5 (6)
Musikhin (RUS) 6 (9) + 3 (5)
Taranov (RUS) 3 (9) + 2 (7)
Sails of White Nights