In Krivsk, on the shore of Pskov lake, the World sailing Championship in Micro Class has just finished.
The 40th World Cup brought together more than 150 of the strongest sailors from all’over the world. This year Krivsk bay anchored crews from countries like Russia, Poland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Slovakia, Lithuania and Kazakhstan.
The entry list was also special: the multiple winners of World Championships Piotr Ogrodnik, Nicolas Pierrot, Philippe Benaben, Johann Ringelmann, Matteo Vanelli and others. Russian sailors in the race were represented by crews from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Lipetsk, Omsk, Yekaterinburg, Chelyabinsk, Kaliningrad and other cities. The membership of the Race Committee included members of the International Jury from Germany, Italy and China, as well as judges from Moscow and Novouralsk.
It should be noted that the Pskov lake greeted the guests and participants of the championship gloomily: a strong wind and rain accompanied the sailors almost all the week long during the races. According to Mikhail Savin (see picture below), Pskov sailing regatta founder and one of the Championship organizers, the first night wind blew off almost all participants’ tent camp. Therefore, to escape the heavy rain, the sportsmen had to settle for the night right on the floor in the boat station.
– We took into account the vagaries of weather: on the beach an army bath tent has been set up where, after the races, sportsmen could take a hot shower. Also the household building of the local boarding house was opened, so the participants could wash their clothes, dry them and clean up in general. Guided tours to Pskov and Izborsk, as well as concerts of our local celebrities such as “Skaz” were also organized -.
According to the words of one of the participants and, at the same time, organizer of the race, Sergei Stepanov (yacht Bezo, Moscow) – Pskov tried to provide maximum comfort in the race for the participants. Not everything has turned out as it could be, the lack of experience in international meetings was clearly noticeable. However, these minor inconveniences were forgotten when the sportsmen took to the start. The local water area is of particular interest for the “Microbs”: a wave of frequent and short, relatively small depth was there while the wind was very changeable. In such conditions the genuine skills and professionalism of the sailors showed up -.
The last day of the Championship great tension was in place. To achieve the best results with squally wind (speed over 12 m/s), all the sailors ran risks exposing their spinnakers. As a result, equipment has not stood: several masts were broken during regattas and the sails were being torn to shreds. In this sense, one of the favorites of the race, the Russian sailor Gennady Svistunov (boat Crystal, Kaliningrad) went out of luck: the mast breakage set his crew only to the 5th place. The overall World Champion became Peter Ogrodnik and his Polish crew (boat Stawo).
Silver medal went to the crew of Lithuanian city Klaipeda, headed by Igor Lipen (boat Monte Cristo) whilst the Bronze of the total Proto Ranking was taken by Andrey Afinogenov’s mixed Russian trio (Ryazan, Moscow and Lipetsk, boat Poltinnik).
However sailing is the kind of sport where, as Strugatsky brothers wrote, nobody leaves offended. According to Olga Shardakova (boat Spasibo from Ekaterinburg, 28th place) – for us, Pskov regatta became another step towards true proficiency. This is my second visit to Pskov lake, which showed a stern temper, having checked the strength not only of the boats but also of the sailors. Unfortunately, we didn’t go without damage. In our city conditions for this sport are not such extreme, so my crew and myself are very pleased to take part in the 40th anniversary Championship. It is twice nice because nowadays it is the only World-class Championship in the Russian sport calendar. We had been getting here in more than two days for 2.300 km, but when we got the friendly Pskov, we have never regretted having come here -.
Finally, the next 41th Micro World Championship 2017 will take place in the French town of Annecy, located on the shores of its own lake on the Eastern border of France, not far from Geneva lake.
Russian original text and photos: Yuri Moiseenko
English translation: Aleksandra Savina