Classic Yachts racing at Saint Petersburg Yacht Club
Friday, 17 August 2012
The overwhelming mode here at Saint Petersburg Yacht Club for the Classic Yacht Week is one of sailing for fun and showing off some extraordinary exacting and painstaking restorations. There are a few yachts that have competed regularly over the summer in other Baltic Classic Circuit events but the atmosphere here is much more relaxed. Yesterday there were three races for the fleet, mostly from Russia. The short courses of 4 miles or so kept the fleet close together and tested crews on their spinnaker handling.
On board the Classics the movements are similar, but the number of crewmembers can differ drastically. With no hydraulic systems and no electronic assistance, every crewmember must do his part in keeping the boat under control and moving forward. When there is lots of wind like today, crew must be on high alert even when leaving the port, as the larger boats take fair muscle power to control and navigate.
Within the regatta there is a Class dedicated to ‘Gigs’. These boats were widely used up until the early 20th century, mostly on naval ships in Russia, Europe and the USA, by captains and commanders for transportation. Over the years they have gradually increased in size and were built with more durable materials. A beautiful vessel, it’s extremely interesting to manoeuvre and it really requires a high level of teamwork.
Gig ‘Mechta’ (Russian for ‘dream’), is one of the Gigs here enjoying the hospitality on offer from the Saint Petersburg Yacht Club. She was the first project built gig launched on May 27th, 2007 as part of the spectacular celebration of the City day in Saint Petersburg. ‘Dignite’ can also be found on the docks. This gig is 11.7m in length and 2.1m in width. She has three sails and can sail with up to 13 crew.
Last night the combined participants from the Classic Yacht Week and the Dragon Russian Open Championship were treated to a ‘Wild Sailors Party’ with entertainment from a shanty band and pipers playing music from the Great Highland.
See Classic Boats images
Last Updated ( Friday, 17 August 2012 )