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Optimists of the Northern Capital - The Gazprom Cup - Stage 1

by Jessica Francis 30 May 2013 12:04 BST 25-26 May 2013
The Gazprom Cup is dedicated to children racing from the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg © SPBYC

The Optimists of the Northern Capital, The Gazprom Cup, started on the historical Russian waters of Saint Petersburg this past weekend, the 25th to 26th May with 8 races completed. Hosted by the Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg, Russia this event is completely dedicated to youth racing and is an important catalyst to grow the sport of sailing within Russia across all levels of competency.

Igor Taraskin a coach at the Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg summarized the spirit of this first event in the 2013 series, "we don't expect an Olympic attitude from the children, instead we just welcome a desire to sail".

With competitors as young as 7 years old in the junior category the race programme caters to everyone including an action packed onshore programme with treasure hunts, tea parties, cooking workshops, trampolines and simulators. Competitors were also able to test out the match racing boats participating in the Sails of White Nights regatta broadening their marine experience.

Anna Deyanova, Principal Race Officer commented on the dedication of this event towards youths, "children get a lot of attention at this event with lots of briefings held by the coaches before the racing, the competitors are confident and happy to race in the variety of conditions we have in the Neva River and everyone is in a good mood."

Sails are supplied by Gazprom to all event entrants providing a level playing field across the fleets with three categories; male, female and junior. Results are dictated by the skill of the sailor rather than their equipment.

The final 3 races in the male division were extremely tight with Daniil Usachev, Leonid Pushev and Vladimir Novoselov on equal points. After 8 races the gold medal for the first stage went to Leonid Pushev from the Rautu team with a very consistent four 1st places and three 2nd places on the scoreboard.

A winner also on the Neva River last year Leonid Puhev shared his winning style, "you have to keep away from the crowds on the start line and make sure you have speed. If you sail fast it gives you more opportunities to use your tactics".

For the ladies in the female category Anita Borkona from the Union Trade's River Yacht Club currently sits on top and Anton Khomenko racing from their home club, the Yacht Club of Saint Petersburg came in first within the junior fleet.

The second stage of the Optimists of the Northern Capital – the Gazprom Cup will be held in the Port Hercules, Russia this coming weekend June 1st and 2nd.

Optimists of the Northern Capital – The 2013 Gazprom Cup – Series Schedule:

  • Event 1 25 - 26 May
  • Event 2 1 - 2 June
  • Event 3 24 – 28 July
  • Event 4 29 – 31 August

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