Fresh from his top ten success at the recent Finn Gold Cup in Tallinn, Estonia, Michele Paoletti (ITA) has won the 2013 Open Russian in Moscow, from 2008 Olympian Giorgio Poggi (ITA) and 2011 Junior Finn World Champion Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS).
The fifth Open Russian international regatta – the Open Championship of the Russian Finn Association - took place in Moscow from 3-8 September. As usual this regatta attracted a big number of sailors with five nations (Italy, Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania and Belarus) represented, as well as sailors from different areas of Russia. It has become one of the largest national Finn regattas each year and one which is growing in popularity due to its easy logistics with ample charter boats available for visiting sailors.
Italy and Ukraine brought really strong teams. Fantastica Sailing Team has organised a visit of six top Italian Finn sailors headed by Michele Paoletti, Giorgio Poggi and Filippo Baldasari, a strong masters team, including president of Italian Finn Association Franchesco Faggiani and former president of the Italian Finn Association Marco Buglielli, and talented juniors Umberto de Luca and young Riccardo Bevilakva.
The Ukraine Association brought a strong masters team but headed by Olympic camnpaigner Andrey Gusenko (UKR). As for Russian sailors, while Eduard Skornyakov, Egor Terpigorev and Alexey Selivanov went to Santander for test event, the other strong sailors Arkadiy Kistanov (top Russian at 2013 Finn Gold Cup), Dmitriy Petrov, and Belarus sailor Konstantin Lashuk who is targeting to be transferred to Russian team, stayed in Moscow to fight for Open Russian and for Balashov Cup.
The opening ceremony was supported by Russian Yachting Federation and by Russian Students Sports Union (The Open Russian includes the Russian Students Sport Union championship for sailing.) Oleg Matytsin, President of Russian Students Sport Union and vice-president of the International Federation of University Sports (FISU) noted the very high level of organisation and high enthusiasm of the Finn sailors in the organisation of such a big event. He promised full support in promotion of sailing inside the University Sports Federation.
The regatta was very lucky with the wind, if perhaps not with the weather. The temperature of 10°C and strong rain during first three days were compensated by strong and shifty wind up to 20 knots.
The racing committee managed to carry out nine good races during first three days. Michele Paoletti demonstrated perfect tactics and took a commanding leader in such tricky conditions. The second and third positions were occupied by Giorgio Poggi and Konstantin Lashuk on equal points.
The fourth day brought nice sunny weather for sailors and organisers but with less wind at the same time. Another two difficult and tricky races changed the ranking with top three positions occupied by Italians Paoletti, Poggi and Filippo Baldasari, while Arkadiy Kistanov moved up to fourth, just two points behind Baldasari. Lashuk droppd to fifth.
The medal race was very easy for Paoletti, but quite difficult for Russian, Ukranian and Belarus sailors since six Italians were in the top ten. Kistanov was pushed out from a good starting position at the very beginning of the race, but he managed to pass Baldasari just before the finish of the medal race to end up third overall. Poggi won the medal race, to maintain his second position.
Andrey Balashov Cup
The Open Russian regatta was also the final stage of Andrey Balashov Cup (which included 19 regattas in Russia in the Finn, and attracted 130 participants in 2013). The 2013 Andrey Balashov Cup was won by Konstantun Lashuk.
During the regatta the sailors enjoyed a welcome dinner of the Fantastica Sailing Team, where all the sailors had a chance to communicate more closely, and the Italian, Ukraine and Russian Finn associations exchanged their experiences and future plans.
The regatta finished with an amazing prizegiving ceremony and concert, where all the participants were awarded with unique prizes in a very friendly atmosphere.
Michele Paoletti said, “We have had very good and interesting races with different wind conditions and shifts. It is nice to have such big strong fleet here. Despite most of Italians appearing at the top, the Russian sailors have shown very good class and they have a good future. The place itself is very interesting. The logistics is very easy and quite cheap. I will advise all my friends to come to the Open Russian next time.”
Franchesco Faggiani, president of Italian Finn Association, said, “It was a very good and interesting experience for us. We have had very good experience of joint training camps and regattas together with Russian sailors in Italy in the frame of Fantastica Finn Academy. Russian sailors participated actively in our masters and Coppa Italia regattas and have shown good class. The support of Fantastica Sailing Team helped us to come to Moscow. I think that this experience is very important for our sailors. Moscow has very good and cheap logistics for participating in the Open Russian regatta while Moscow has interesting sailing conditions and a big charter fleet.”
Andrey Gusenko, the leader of Ukranian team, said, “The regatta was organised at a very high level, and attracts many interesting sailors and opens good initiatives like promotion of sailing and the Finn class among students. Our Finn class is growing following the example of our Russian friends, and we have had a very good Ukraine Finn championship this year with 20 boats in the fleet. Thanks to our Russian friends for their hospitality and constantly high professional level of regatta organisation.”
“We think that it is important to extend this experience over Eastern Europe, and it is high time to organise a CIS championship or Eastern European Finn championship. We do want our Russian friends to come to Ukraine (Sevastopol and Odessa) to participate in our events. As good step towards this direction we can consider the idea of CIS Finn-masters championship, which is intended by Russian and Ukrainian Finn Associations to be held in Sevastopol from October 10-12, 2014."
Text by Vasiliy Kravchenko, Photos supplied.
Results (top 10 from 72)
Open Championship of Russian Sports Students Union: http://www.moscow-finnclass.ru/default.aspx?mode=binary&id=278
Photos from the medal race by Alexey Zhirov:
Photo report by Larisa Larionova:
Photo report by Mariya Abashkina:
Video from the medal race and award ceremony
Official website of the regatta www.open-russian.ru