Between July 31 and August 3, the Yachting Cup of the Central Black Earth Region was held in Voronezh. Three races took place each day on the Voronezh Reservoir near the park “Alye Parusa”. The event gathered about 200 participants from various cities – Yaroslavl, Tolyatti, Lipetsk, Moscow, etc., with 41 Voronezh sportsmen among them.
The first race began at 12 o’clock. Spectators could watch it from one of the city's bridges. At first it could have seemed like the yachts sailed at random, with no particular order in mind, but in fact, the aim of the yachtsmen was not only to come first, but to show their sailing skills, like sailing downwind and upwind. Another difficulty was not to cross the start line before the whistle.
“Helping each other is extremely important here. There is a rule, that if someone turns over, those who are close must offer their help. Most sportsmen, however, prefer to recover their yachts themselves so as to continue the race”, – said Nikolay Frolikhin, Presidents of the Yachting Federation of the Voronezh Region.
The competition very much depends on the weather. The first day was quite good: a light wind was blowing from various directions, so the sportsmen had to be extremely careful and work hard to adjust the sails. But for the next two days there was no wind at all, and on August 2, the race was cancelled because of a storm. Fortunately, on the last day of the Cup, the wind was very strong, and three races were held. There were, however, some disturbances. Sometimes, the wind was so strong, that some of the masts broke and several yachts turned over. Still the sportsmen managed to continue the race.
“Sailing in such a strong wind is very difficult, especially when you’ve got three sails, but still the worst thing for me was the rain that interfered a lot”, – says Artem Kosykh, a 13-year-old participant of the race.
Yachting is quite often compared to playing chess: you need to plan your sailing every step in advance, and be ready to endure difficulties.
“Yachting changes people a lot. Children, for example, become more independent. Just imagine a little boy alone on a yacht fighting with wind and water. This boy has got to overcome his fears”, - says Igor Sannikov, a coach from Voronezh yachting school. “There was, for example, a boy, who came to our school when he was seven. He made good progress, but still it seemed he was afraid of something. It appeared later that he was afraid of big pikes. So, you see, we need to fight our various fears.”
Voronezh yachting school of the Olympic Reserve is situated next to the park “Alye Parusa” (Voronezh, Arzamasskaya 2a). It has 120 pupils.
“Voronezh yachting school has always been known for its good training programme, – says Tatiana Vinokurova, the director of the school. - Five our pupils have been selected to join the Russian national team. This year we are going to take part in three other competitions. We are eager to develop our sport in Voronezh. It would be great, if our city could hold various levels of yachting competitions. Our greatest ambition is to modernise our school. Most of the equipment we have now dates back to the Soviet times. So we are now trying to get a federal grant to develop the yachting sport”.