French skipper Damien IEHL won the ISAF Grade 1 Sails of White Nights in St Petersburg, part of the World Match Racing Tour Qualifying Series.
The last day of racing was very dynamic with good wind blowing across the race area on the Neva river. With this wind direction strong current on Neva helped the Race Committee to set the course so that it was enough room for the regatta and ships travelling along the river during the whole day.
(FRA) won three matches in a row against Jacopo PASINI
(ITA) to qualify for the final. Peter WIBROE
(DEN) beat Alexis LITTOZ BARITEL
(FRA) 3-1 to become IEHL's opponent. PASINI and LITTOZ BARITEL fought for the third place in the petit-final, with the Frenchman turning out to be stronger and beating his rival 2-0.
The first match of the final was led by WIBROE from the very beginning, with IEHL being penalized three times during the match. Danish team was the first to cross the starting line of the second match as well, and kept the French trailing during the whole race, but IEHL was faster over the last few metres and finished before his opponent. This was a great boost to IEHL's team and they won the next two matches in a row to become the winners of the "Sails of White Nights - the National Congress Palace Cup 2009" and earn their ticket to the Match Cup Sweden - World Match Racing Tour event, making them the French crew in the participants list.
All the wins and loses of the regatta were witnessed and supported by more than 50,000 of spectators walking along the shore of Neva river. This event was a great holiday for the citizens and guests of Saint-Petersburg.
1. Damien IEHL
2. Peter WIBROE
3. Alexis LITTOZ BARITEL
4. Jacopo PASINI
5. Phil ROBERTSON
6. Rui BOIA
7. Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV
8. Eugeniy NIKIFOROV
9. Andrew ARBUZOV
10. Sergey MUSIKHIN
11. Manuel WEILLER VIDAL
12. Marek STANCZYK