Eugeniy Neugodnikov of Russia took the title as the ISAF Grade 1 YAVA Trophy came to a conclusion in Ekaterinburg over the weekend.
On Saturday, the penultimate day of racing in the Urals, provided great weather for match racing, which was not predicted by any forecast. Despite of the day being quiet cool (only 15 degrees), it was sunny. Fortunately the direction of the wind, blowing from the west, let the crews finish their second round-robin. Strong enough wind made all the races very dynamic and intense with every race hard fought.
Thirty flights (90 races) were held in a short period of four days, but only after the 88th race were the semi-finalists confirmed. Sergey Musikhin (RUS) lost to Manuel Weiller
(ESP) on the finish line only by 1 second, giving Mads Ebler
(DEN) the opportunity to compete in semi-finals. Ian Ainslie
(RSA) and Andrew Arbuzov
(RUS) both performed strongly to reach the final four as well as round robin winner Eugeniy Neugodnikov
The semi-final races started at 17:00 with Neugodnikov defeating Ebler 3-1. In the second semi-final there was another Russian win with Arbuzov confidently defeating Ainslie 3-0.
Following on from the semis, the last day of the ISAF Grade 1 YAVA Trophy 2009 proved to be the most difficult for the participants. The drawing for the last races was held at 10:30 during the morning meeting for the skippers. The wind was very weak and constantly shifting and the only thing that participants could do was wait. This waiting was as long as six hours. Yachts were prepared, competitors were ready, the umpire's boat was standing with a turned on engine, but, apparently, the wind decided to take a day off. At 16:00 the Race Committee abandoned racing for the today.
So who became the winner? According to the results of semi-finals, Neugodnikov was supposed to be racing for the first place against Arbuzov. Since the winners of the semi-finals had equal positions, the place was decided according to the results of the previous stage-double round-robin. Thereby, Neugodnikov earned the right to be named the winner of YAVA Trophy 2009. Arbuzov took second place. Third and fourth place were decided in the same way - they were granted to Ainslie and Ebler respectively.
1. Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS)
2. Andrew Arbuzov (RUS)
3. Ian Ainslie (RSA)
4. Mads Ebler (DEN)
5. Sergey Musikhin (RUS)
6. Manuel Weiller (ESP)
7. Eugeniy Nikiforov (RUS)
8. Farokh Tarapore (IND)
9. Maxim Taranov (RUS)
10. Leonid Chernin (LAT)