Sailing Champions League
• The Canarian team of RCN Arrecife (Lanzarote) is proclaimed champion of the semifinal of the European Sailing League, played in Saint Petersburg
• The only Spanish team in the competition put on a real show on the race course with comebacks and epic starts.
• After 36 qualifying rounds, the “Lanzarote European Sports Destination – Wacaf Air” went on to lead the final reserved for the best 4. With only winning a round of the final, they were proclaimed champions of the event and that is what they did.
Last Sunday the semifinal of the Sailing Champions League, or what has been the European Sailing League, ended in the waters of Saint Petersburg (Russia). The organization of the event was carried out by the Russian Sailing Federation, and the San Petersburg Yacht Club, who organized a first-class event with a great display of media to entertain the 17 participating teams, of which 14 were Russian, one Swiss, a German and a Spanish, those of the RCN of Arrecife “Lanzarote European Sports Destination – Wacaf Air” were the ones who won the final victory, although it was not easy at all.
Ricardo Terrades gave us his impressions of him after finishing the championship “we feel super happy. Coming to Russia from Spain was not easy at all, but the effort was worth it ”. Regarding the competition system, the team’s project manager pointed out “the Sailing Champions League is a very fun and very interesting competition. The rivalry between the teams is maximum. Qualifying was very tight, with very few points of difference. And here the slightest mistake pays dearly, in the same way that a good regatta gives you a break. In Spain we already compete with the same system in the Spanish Sailing League – Lottery Trophy and State Bets and I think it is a real success ”.
The triumph of the Spanish was by no means a bed of roses. First they had to acclimatize to the harsh cold conditions that this week were in the Baltic Sea sailing every day between 5ºC and 8ºC and the water at 10ºC. Later it was necessary to adapt and get to know the boat in which they competed well, the MX700 that despite being very similar to the J70 (a boat in which they already sail in Spain) kept its differences. And finally the competition itself in which many teams had clear chances of winning and with which the war in the water was quite tough. Very short but very intense regattas that required being always 100% focused and always getting the maximum performance out of the boat.
Regatta after regatta, the final triumph has been possible.
In total, the entire planned program has been fulfilled, holding a total of 36 qualifying rounds. From there, only the 4 best-ranked teams went to the final. Whoever won the previous races already had a first in their locker, and the other three finalists were at zero. All level, except for the leader who started with a little advantage. To win the final victory it was necessary to win two races in the final. The emotion was served.
The team led by Nano Negrín, “Lanzarote European Sports Destination – Wacaf Air”, went into the water on the last day in second position in the general classification and just one point behind the leader “Lord of Sail – Windy Girls” from Russia, but followed very closely from the Swiss “Bondesee Yachclub Uberlingen” just one point, two points from the Russians from the “Tenzor Sport”, three points from the Russian “Calypso” and four points from the Germans from the “Regatta Club Oberhofen” . The top six finishers were in a handkerchief each one point from the next. And yet, each team had to dribble two more qualifying rounds before the final.
In the first regatta of the day, the Canaries of the “Lanzarote European Sports Destination – Wacaf Air” made an impeccable start and stayed ahead of the entire race, but in the last meters of the final run they were overtaken by two boats, relegating themselves to the third position. Who won that sleeve was the leader “Lord of Sail – Windy Girls” with what managed to increase its advantage by 2 more points compared to those of Lanzarote. In the following test, the Spanish team rested and followed the competition closely, seeing how the victory was for the Swiss of the “Bondesee Yachclub Uberlingen” while the Russian leader made a 5th. Qualifying was tightening again in an extremely exciting way.
In the last qualifying round, those of “Lanzarote European Sports Destination – Wacaf Air” took the lead thanks to a superb start from their skipper Nano Negrín. Little by little they overtook their rivals, arriving at the first windward mark very close to the Russians “Tenzor Sport”, but thanks to a skillful maneuver the Spaniards who were leeward protested the Russians and the referee took them a red flag to “Tanzor Sport”, having them to penalize. The Spaniards had already gotten rid of a tough rival, they followed ship winning calmly and with good tactics allowing them to win the last qualifying race and go as leaders to the grand final.
All the excitement was in the grand finale
The final was reserved for the best 4, “Lanzarote European Sports Destination – Wacaf Air” in first place, followed by the Russian “Lord of Sail – Windy Girls”, the Swiss from “Bondesee Yachclub Uberlingen” and the Germans from “Regatta Club Oberhofen. ”. The canaries already started with a partial victory and whoever achieved two victories was proclaimed champion. In the final, Lanzarote’s men again made an impeccable leeward start, while the Germans did it upwind. After a very tight first beat in which both teams were very attentive to the roles, the Germans crossed the prow of the Spaniards on starboard tack and ours were forced to pass them by the stern. At that moment the Germans turned to port to mark the Spanish and they tried to force a penalty by luffing them from leeward. But this time the international referee raised the red flag to the Spaniards, who had to penalize themselves and lose their chances of victory, finishing in third place in that regatta.
In the following regatta of the final, the team of Nano Negrín, Ricardo Terrades, Rafa Lasso and Gonzalo Morales, made a bad start and conditioning for the entire regatta. The leaders of this round were clearly the Swiss, who had their rivals under control until the last run. That was when those from Lanzarote continued to the right, waiting for new wind pressures. Swiss and Germans chose to jibe and go left. After a few minutes the pressure entered from the right benefiting the Spanish and the Russian “Lord of Sail”. Spaniards and Russians began to sail in high mode, with jib deployed and spinnaker much faster than their opponents until they finally crossed the finish line in first position and thus became the champions of this highly disputed Sailing Champions League Sant Petersburg Cup.
The Lanzarote team continues to dribble at the highest level
The victory in Saint Petersburg gave the possibility to participate in the great European final that will be played in Porto Cervo (Italy), an appointment to which the Canary Islands of the “Lanzarote European Sports Destination – Wacaf Air” will not fail. At the national level, the same team, although with other crew members, will continue to compete in the Spanish Sailing League – Loeterias and State Betting Trophy. After a first event held in El Arenal (Mallorca), those of RCN Arrecife – Lanzarote lead the classification with more than 20 points of advantage and will have to sail again during this month of October in Calpe waters aboard the Tom 28 Max and choose again to the title of champion of the Spanish Sailing League 2021. Triumph that they already achieved in 2019, while in 2020 they were runners-up.