Most of the sailors who took part in the Russian championship races were looking forward to this day. A fascinating sailing marathon, which included the Marblehead Trophy, and consisted of many bright and memorable events that took place both on the water and on the shore, came to an end.
"The Dragons", who had long loved St. Petersburg as their main den, were preparing for the last fight: the final, 7th race of the championship that would determine the winner, was scheduled for Sunday.

Anatoly Loginov (RUS27), Vasily Senatorov (RUS34) and Dmitry Samokhin (RUS76), who had scored
13, 15 and 18 points, respectively, had the highest chances to enter the podium. There was no point
in guessing how the leaders would do in the final race — the wind is too unpredictable, too often the
weather and the sailors themselves bring surprises. However, a simple arithmetic calculation
showed that RUS 27 and RUS 34 would not be left without prizes.

Half an hour before the expected start, when the "dragons" were heading to the race area and
"stretching their wings" in anticipation of the last sailing battle, a powerful windflaw passed from
north to south over the Marquise Puddle right on the edge of the city. The kind that one would love
to watch from some safe place. The windflaw was a harbinger of the heavy lead-gray clouds, which
covered the entire water area and dramatically changed the weather and the mood of the race
participants. No trace of the relaxing 7kt wind was left. The referee's wind dial showed steady, which
turned into 26 knots on gusts. It did not rain, but even without it everyone was wet. The squally
wind quickly dispersed the wave, and it was high enough to make the sailors tighten the valves of
their oilskins.
The main events that determined the entire race took place at the very first stage. The starting signal
went off at 12:43. By that time the main fleet had accumulated on the left, at the far end of the
starting line. Every nest windflaw was stronger than the previous one. It was hard to expect a calm
start of the race in a situation like that. Strange that there was no mass false start — only one boat
(RUS 46) leaped out ahead of time, but then returned to the starting area to repeat it properly.
Several yachts drifted by the sign and had to maneuver at the rear of other competitors. During such
a chaotic start, not everybody could properly handle the rigging. No wonder that the boat RUS 48 set
on the boat RUS 34 Vasily Senatorov's "Dragon" took on water, so the team had to pump it out and
forget about the race. As a result, both boats left the distance and headed for the shore.
Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet was rushing towards the upper mark. The teams of Anatoly Loginov,
Dmitry Samokhin, Viktor Vogelson and Pedro Andrade were leading with equal chances to overtake
the windward mark. However, literally a couple of cable's length away from the first control point,
the Portuguese racer didn't take a proper turn, but continued moving away from the target: POR 84
left the race and headed to the port. Soon, other boats also "crumbled." 8 yachts in total failed to
continue the race for various reasons — a good third of those who started!
Eventually, Anatoly Loginov's team was the first to cross the finish line, and became an undisputed winner of the championship with five out of seven races won. Having come up to the first upper
mark almost simultaneously with Victor Vogelson's RUS 35 and Dmitry Samokhin's RUS 76, the boat
managed first to outsail its rivals on a full course and then not only keep its advantage, but increase
the gap at each stage. The other two teams also maintained their position until the end of the race:
Dmitry Samokhin's "Rocknrolla" (RUS76) took the silver medal of the championship, and Victor
Vogelson's team (RUS 35) was the 6th to finish. The fourth in this race was Sergey Borodinov's team
(RUS 81), which also did not concede its position to anybody throughout the distance. As a result,
the team took fourth place in the overall standings of the race. Pedro Andrade, who received the
DNF in this race, took the 5th place, and Vasily Senatorov with his team, for whom the race all but
ended dramatically (however reliable is the "dragon", it may still sink), won bronze medals.

Vasily Senatorov (RUS 34), bronze prizewinner of the Russian Championship:
– Today we have left the race. At the start, we were hit by an uncontrollable boat and had to pump
out the water, while the rest of the boats sailed off properly. There was no point in continuing the
race. Generally, I believe that there was no need to start while the wind is so strong. The racing fleet
is heterogeneous, it has many classic yachts, boats with not really young crews — this should also
be taken into account. The race should be held for everyone, not just for the 3-4 leading teams that
are able to cope in such difficult weather conditions. Look at the results: eight yachts left the race for
various reasons – a third of the fleet! I believe that the race should have been held yesterday. And a
forecast like today – a quick change of wind direction – often indicates that some natural collision
will occur. And it actually has. But even in this situation it was possible to wait for the wind to
weaken – there was still enough time.

As for the results of the championship, I'd like to note that the winner, Anatoly Loginov, is a great
racer, as well as Dmitry Samokhin, who took the second place. I am pleased with my third place,
although, having already won silver and bronze medals, we certainly wanted to fight for the first
place. But even if there hadn't been that accident at the start, it would still have been hard for us to
compete in such weather conditions: it was not our wind, it was too strong. In general, I think the
Russian Championship was a success. This is the first time in many years that we have seen such a
massive participation – 27 boats at the start, foreign teams among them. Everything was fine!

Dmitry Samokhin (RUS 76), silver prizewinner of the Russian Championship:

– Today's race was very interesting, because the whole championship was held in a weak wind, and
the last race went unexpectedly for everyone in a strong wind. So the story was less about tactics,
and more about coping with the boat. I think the results are fair.

Yesterday's race made adjustments in the fight for first places. There were those who won a lot and
those who lost a lot. We were among the losing ones. So today it was hard for us to fight for the first
place. Almost impossible. We just tried to do our best. As a result, we took the second place.
Speaking of the championship in whole, I'd call it interesting. It's good that we raced almost every
day, except for one – but July in St. Petersburg might be even worse. Quite a lot of participants, all
on the move. We liked it. We are waiting for the next championship.

As for the plans for this season, we're heading to the Cannes race, then perhaps the Lake Garda race.
We like to race there: there is always the right wind. Then Sanremo, the Dragon's 90th anniversary.
And like all the top "Dragon" teams, we're heading to the Palma race at the end of the season. A
new format is being tested now, when all the first grade races are united within the European Cup.

One stage and the final of this Cup will be held in Palma. Based on the results of the selection, we
are among the top twenty teams, which are going to compete there. So we will definitely be there,
and we hope to get to the final.

Anatoly Loginov (RUS 27), winner of the Russian Championship:

- Our job was to win the last race. There were no particular opponents: Vasily Senatorov came down,
and Dmitry Samokhin was far enough away - all we had to do was just get there. We tried to forget
about the numbers and hold each race as a simple race. Nevertheless, psychologically it was a little
easier than if we had to win back at all costs. But I must say thanks to Dima that the race turned out
to be interesting. I think that if the race continued indefinitely, then every day someone would have
been ahead, someone would have been behind. In the Cup, the cutoff occurred at one level, in the
championship - at another.

On the same day, the award ceremony was held, which was attended by all the teams without
exception. The organizers awarded every participant of the country's main race: even outsiders
received souvenirs and gifts from sponsors, each team was given an individually selected photograph
of their boat, printed as a painting. Everyone was satisfied. Special attention was paid to the
veterans of sails and classic "dragons"; foreign guests - racers from Estonia and Portugal - were
marked out.

There were three rankings of the main awards: the championship overall ranking, the championship
of Russia (it coincided with the overall one), and the "classic" ranking.
The fest ended on a positive note, as well as the race itself (which, according to the unanimous
opinion of its participants, was a success).

Winners and prizetaker of the championship of Russia:
Overall ranking and the championship of Russia ranking:
1 Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko, Alexander Shalagin (RUS 27) – 14 points
2 Dmitry Samokhin,Andrey Kirillyuk, Alexey Bushuev (RUS 76) – 20
3 Vasily Senatorov, Igor Ivashintsov, Alexander Muzychenko (RUS 34) – 23

"Dragon" Classic
1 Anna Basalkina, Vladislava Ukraintseva, Eriks Masteiko (LAT 3) – 47 points
2 Victor Los', Denis Karelsky, Maxim Karelsky (RUS 22) – 76
3 Sergey Bakharev, Vladimir Kulinichenko, Igor Mironenko (RUS 84) – 86
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Marblehead Trophy 2020
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