It was another glorious sailing day here in Cannes for the second day of the Grand Prix which allowed the PRO to set two more fantastic courses for the 57 boat fleet. To win a race at this level requires boat speed, superb tactics, immaculate boat handling and some degree of luck. However, yesterday Anatoloy Loginiv and his team managed one better than that, as they sailed brilliantly to win both races, by some considerable margin. Quite amazing!
I spoke with Anatoloy’s tactician, Vadim Statsenko after the races he explained to me “In both races we started in the middle of the line, continuing on starboard until we were able to tack. We had good speed and got a shift up the middle of the first beat. Although we did not lead either race at the top mark, we were always close to the leaders. As the races progressed we were then able to pull up into 1st place and hold our position”. Vadim also told me that on one of the 2 mile upwind leg’s, they picked out two vital wind shift’s that allowed them to only make two tacks on the entire leg.. Something the rest of us can only dream of…
These two race wins have launched the RUS 27 team into an overall lead after a total of 4 races. Close behind Anatoly are two other boats that are also sailing very consistently and within easy reach of the top spot. These two boats are MON 9 helmed by Malte Phillip and GBR 785 Lawrie Smith. In fact “if” a discard was implemented the total points of the top three teams would be 7pts, 9pts and 10pts… How close is that ? However, there is a long way to go yet and with other famous and excellent teams looming in the background, this Grade 1 Championship is going to get tougher and tougher.
Looking around the fleet I have seen a number of Corinthian Teams doing very well, none more so than local based, FRA 409 Gerard Blanc who had an excellent day yesterday with two 8th places. This actually gives Gerard 5th place overall and deservedly so. Without being that highly placed at the first top mark, Gerard and his team have fought hard to pick off place after place. I hope they continue this fantastic vein of form and keep their obvious focus.
The weather conditions here in Cannes are rewarding this large fleet with some absolutely wonderful sailing and the 2 mile long beats allow the fleet to spread out, avoiding unnecessary and unwanted collisions at the top mark. Of course there are still bound to be the odd “tight” call and protest on mark rounding’s. But that is the nature of the game and shows the competitiveness of the fleet. Would we want it any other way? Of course not!
Higher, Faster, Longer……….. Stavros. (GBR 789).