The Russian yacht “Bronenosec“ (10 points) with helmsman Vladimir Liubomirov, tactician Adrian Stead, strategist Tommaso Chieffi and navigator Francesco Mongelli is currently in the lead at the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championships (13th-19th of July 2013) in Cowes, England. After three days and eight races the Russian from Saint Petersburg Yacht Club (SPYC) is eight points ahead of the second placed yacht “Tsaar Peter“ with Igor Frolov, also from SPYC.
Only one point behind “Tsaar Peter” is “Knights of Crevichon” with Sir Peter Ogden (Royal Yacht Squadron) helming. The Brit has gathered around himself a strong team with the America’s Cup- and Volvo Ocean Race-veterans Brad Butterworth and Tim Kröger who will surely attack the competition once more in the remaining two days of racing in the attempt of becoming world champions. “It is going to be difficult to beat the ‘blue boat’ from Vladimir Liubomirov. They are a really good team with a very fast boat. But we will leave nothing untried”, said Tim Kröger after the third day of racing.
On rank four and five are “Petite Flamme“ (Dmitry Samokhin & Igor Goihberg) and “SGM/German Offshore Challenger“ with the Olympic athletes Robert Stanjek and Kathrin Kadelbach from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV). The young up-and-coming team from NRV is putting up a good show in this high-quality fleet against many professionals: They have already achieved four third places.
After the official racing programme on Wednesday there was a special highlight to enjoy: For a short while helmsmen Vladimir Liubomirov and Igor Frolov handed over the reins and left the command to the Russian sailor of the year Ekaterina Skudina and the two-times Olympic champion Shirley Robertson from the UK. Those two top-class sailors demonstrated their skills in a show match race on board of the impressive Swan 60 yachts. They sailed two short races and at the end the experienced Shirley Robertson carried off the victory. Before the start of the Nord Stream Race, too, will the Swan 60 yachts get the chance to battle in a match race before starting to the long-distance regatta. More information can be found here.
The sailing conditions during the Swan 60 World Championships are close to perfect. Almost Mediterranean conditions with up to 12 knots of wind dominate in the easterly part of the Solent where the regatta course has been laid out. On Thursday, 18th of July, it is going to get exciting again: An inshore race will take place in the Solent with light winds to be expected. Those who want to sail in first place will have to have some knowledge of the local tide ways. On Friday two up-and-down races are planned.
For many participants the Swan 60 Worlds are a “dress rehearsal” for the Nord Stream Race that will start from Flensburg in September. Having won last year’s edition, Vladimir Liubomirov and his “Bronenosec“ are amongst the favourites for this regatta, too. The German offshore expert Tim Kröger has also entered again. As opposed to the Worlds in Cowes he will be at the helm himself on the long-distance course from Flensburg to Saint Petersburg. Another competitor is “SGM/German Offshore Challenger” from NRV. Further Swan 60 teams are from the Netherlands and Turkey.
Photo 1 (above): So far the Russian Vladimir Liubomirov with his „Bronenosec“ is dominating the Gazprom Swan 60 World Championships © Nautor's Swan/Kurt Arrigo
Photo 2: Almost Mediterranean conditions at the World Championships in the Solent with glorious sunshine and light winds © Nautor's Swan/Kurt Arrigo
Photo 3: Competitors on the water – friends on land: Vladimir Liubomirov (left) and Tim Kröger © NRV/Anne Fritzemeier
Photo 4: Ekaterina Skudina on board „Bronenosec“ © Nautor's Swan/Kurt Arrigo