GAZPROM Russian Dragon Open 2012

From August 14th to August 19th 2012 GAZPROM Russian Dragon Open Championship took place in St.Petersburg. All of the Russia’s best Dragon sailors took part in the competition, as well as foreign sportsmen from as different countries as Hungary, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Lithuania, Ukraine and Sweden.

The Dragon class today is the most numerous monohull keelboats class in the world. IDA numbers up to 1650 registred boats. In Russia there are about 70 officially registered Dragon yachts.
The Russian Dragon Open is not a rare guest in the Gulf of Finland. In 2007 it was held in Zelenogorsk, whereas in 2010 and 2011 it was hosted by the yacht port «Hercules». It was there where it took place this year as well.

All of the Russian strongest Dragon sailors came to Saint-Petersburg to compete. The participant list contained the names of most prominent Russian sailors, Olympic medalists, businessmen and other important figures. Last year RUS 27 Anatoly Loginov was leading the Russian ranking and he was also the one to have one the Russian Dragon Open 2011. Remarkable fact: by the time of 1st warning signal of the Championship the first four places of IDA ranking were held by Russian sailors with Dmitry Samokhin – President RDA - being first, Anatoly Loginov – second, Alexander Ezhkov – 3rd and Vasily Senatorov – the 4th. All in all the top-10 contains six Russian names, and they all participated in this year’s championship.

The Russian Dragon Open began with a short-spoken yet stately opening ceremony. After the welcoming speeches of Dmitry Samokhin and regatta director Tatiana Kurbatova the competition programme was announced and the trophies to be won were presented to the audience. The newly-born main prize of the Championship was the main surprise of the moment. A golden gilt cup created by Saint-Petersburg sculptor Sergey Astapov, a beautiful creation resembling boats crossing on the beat, with sails of gold shimmering in the sun will be from this year on presented to the absolute winner of the Open Championship despite his nationality. The cup remains the property of the Russian Dragon Association but is retained by the winner until the next Russian Dragon Open Championship. Due to its form the cup was immediately nicknamed the «Russian Sailing Empire Crown».

This year’s championship was visited by a number of famous sailors. Some came with their own boats, some participated as members of the Russian teams. Yevgeny Braslavetz (Ukraine), Lars Hendriksen (Denmark), Gutta Johansson and Gunnar Krantz (Sweden), Tommasj Chieffi and Alberto Barovier (Italy) - these people, we believe, do not need any further introduction.

The famous Italian maritime photographer Carlo Borlenghi had kindly accepted the invitation of the Russian Dragon Association and worked throughout the event. His masterfully crafted photos now decorate the albums of the Championship.

The self-willed Saint-Petersburg weather presented the sailors with four days of changing wind conditions. The first three races were full of energy, dynamic and quick. The competitior results, however, didn’t differ much, so there could be no talking about any real leaders. The next day though, when the absence of wind made no races possible, these results became more important. Vasily Senatorov, the leader, Lars Hendriksen, Yevgen Braslavetz, Igor Goikhberg, Anatoly Karachinsky and Gutta Johansson all had enough points to promise thrilling races on the third day of the Championship. Anatoly Loginov, the last year’s champion, was only tenth, 15 points behind the leader.

The next day there was enough wind to conduct two races and Igor Goikhberg took the lead. Five more boats were less than 12 points away from him, others were 19 points and more behind… But with 2 more races to go and the worst result to be omitted there was still room for a thrilling fight for victory…

The evening before the last tournament day the participants were invited to a party in the grand hotel «Europe». Words of gratitude were expressed to the main sponsor of the event – the Gazprom – as well as to the partners of the Championship,among which «NTV Plus», Yacht Russia, Lancaster, Calvin Klein, Alpica and Royal Sound. Special thanks went to the Russian Company «Ot i do» company, which had constructed a comfortable and cosy tent for the regatta village.

Sunday brought good and steady winds so the last two races could have been held. And it was THE day where everything changed again in the result list…. If last year the name of the winner became apparent already in the middle of the series, this time everyone kept guessing till the last minute. The fact that the first three places were shared by the teams with equal amount of points tells a lot about the thrill of the race. The victory, once again, went to Anatoly Loginov, who, however, admitted that this time he had to fight for it much harder.

The closing ceremony of the Championship took place on August 19th. Four standings were awarded: Dragon Classic standings ( Russian Federation and Open) – for all boats older than 1972, and 2 standings for standard boats – Russian Federation standings and overall Open Championship standings.

In Dragon Classic the first 3 boats won both standings. Anatoly Loginov also won both standings and retains the “Russian Sailing Crown” for one year until the next Russian Dragon Open 2013.

Dragon (Russian Federation Standings):
Anatoly Loginov (RUS27)
Igor Goikhberg (RUS98)
Vasily Senatorov (RUS34)

Dragon (overall Open Championship Standings):
Anatoly Loginov (RUS27)
Yevgen Braslavetz (RUS88)
Igor Goikhberg (RUS98)

Dragon Classic (overall Open Championship and Russian Federation Standings):
Gleb Suloev (RUS11)
Tamara Kudryavceva (RUS7)
Julia Grigoryeva (RUS18)

At the end of the ceremony the public greeted famous Russian musician Alexander F. Sklyar and his band “Va-Bank” who performed their greatest hits. This little concert was a gift the company “Transbunker” provided for the championship.

Official results –

Photos by Carlo Borlenghi & Stefano Gattini –

Next Regattas:

  • 4th Stavros Dragon Match Race (by invitation only)
    3-5 Mar, Cascais, Portugal
  • H.M. King Juan Carlos I Trophy
    6-9 Mar, Cascais, Portugal
  • Phyloong Series
    15 Mar-12 Apr, Hong Kong
  • Italian Open Championship
    20-22 Mar, San Remo, Italy
  • European Championship
    25-29 Mar, San Remo, Italy
  • Tasmanian State Championship
    30 Mar Sandy Bay, Australia
  • RVYC Spring Series
    04-05 Apr, Vancouver, Canada
  • Grand Prix of Aalsmeer
    05-06 Apr, Aalsmeer, Netherlands
  • Coupe des Pyramides
    11-13 Apr, La Grande Motte, France
  • Drachentraining
    12-13 Apr, Thun, Switzerland
  • Osterregatta
    18-19 Apr, Thun, Switzerland
  • Easter Regatta
    18-21 Apr, Burnham, UK
  • Grand Prix of Aalsmeer
    19-21 Apr, Aalsmeer, Netherlands

Fixtures 2012