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13 June 2006, 09:44 am
NEUGODNIKOV Triumphs
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Sails Of White Nights 2006
St. Petersburg, Russia

The final racing day of the ISAF Grade 2 Sails of White Nights match race in St. Petersburg, saw an all Russian final in which Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV got the better of Maxim TARANOV to take the title.
TARANOV had earlier finished top of the round robin ahead of Sergey MUSIKHIN (RUS), with a three-way tie for third place. With only four team progressing to the semi-finals, NEUGODNIKOV and Andrew CORNAH (GBR) went through whilst Pierre-Antoine MORVAN (FRA), who had lost to both these skippers, missed out.

The final day in Russia began with the postponement of semi-finals for more than four hours due to a very changeable wind direction. After the wind direction stabilized another problem of course setting occurred. It blew from the north which is just across the rather narrow Neva River, and the Race Committee had to share the water area with numerous vessels running along from both directions. Finally the course was set close to the shore, the distance between the windward and leeward marks was about 250 metres and the boats had to sail three laps for the semi-finals. The knock out series for the rest of the participants was cancelled in favour of semi-finals and final.

In semi-final TARANOV had choice of opponents and beat MUSIKHIN 2-0. The second pair of CORNAH and NEUGODNIKOV sailed three matches against each other with NEUGODNIKOV winning 2-1 to become the second Russian finalist.

On To The Finals

The final matches started with the light wind at 1546 local time, 1 hour and 21 minutes before the last flight could start according to Sailing Instructions. Six final and petit-final matches ran within the next hour and 15 minutes.

In the petit-final the first match was won by MUSIKHIN, before CORNAH drew things level. In the third and decisive match, MUSIKHIN caught the mark and stuck with it shortly after the race began. While he fought to clear the mark his opponent had already begun the second lap and raced away to secure third place.

NEUGODNIKOV won the first final match. In the second match TARANOV was the first to finish. At the start of match three TARANOV was over the line early and while he was sailing back to the pre-start zone and then starting against the current, NEUGODNIKOV was already rounding the first mark and kept the lead until the finish. The time limit was passed and at 2-1, NEUGODNIKOV was proclaimed champion.

Sails of White Nights Results

Final

Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) d. Maxim TARANOV (RUS), 2-0

Petit-Final

Andrew CORNAH (GBR) d. Sergey MUSIKHIN (RUS), 2-1

Semi-Final

Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) d. Andrew CORNAH (GBR), 2-1
Maxim TARANOV (RUS) d. Sergey MUSIKHIN (RUS), 2-0

Round Robin

1. Maxim TARANOV (RUS), 10-1
2. Sergey MUSIKHIN (RUS), 9-2
3. Andrew CORNAH (GBR), 8-3
4. Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV (RUS), 8-3
5. Pierre-Antoine MORVAN (FRA), 8-3
6. Petr KOCHNEV (RUS), 6-5
7. Mahesh RAMCHANDRAN (IND), 5-6
8. Jon ERIKSSON (FIN), 5-6
9. Johnny ISDAHL (SWE). 3-8
10. Alpo KAAKINEN (FIN), 2-9
11. Aage REERSLEV (SWE), 2-9
12. Rasmus VILTOFT (DEN), 0-11

Sails of White Nights Final Standings

1. Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV (RUS)
2. Maxim TARANOV (RUS)
3. Andrew CORNAH (GBR)
4. Sergey MUSIKHIN (RUS)
5. Pierre-Antoine MORVAN (FRA)
6. Petr KOCHNEV (RUS)
7. Mahesh RAMCHANDRAN (IND)
8. Jon ERIKSSON (FIN)
9. Johnny ISDAHL (SWE)
10. Alpo KAAKINEN (FIN)
11. Aage REERSLEV (SWE)
12. Rasmus VILTOFT (DEN)

Yana DOBZHITSKAYA (As Amended By ISAF). Image, Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV lifted the title:© Nico MARTINEZ
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