A 13-strong Russian team are making their debut at this year's Skandia Cowes Week. They hope to follow on from their recent success at Cork Week sailing Follow Me, an IMX45, where they finished seventh overall and first in class.
A 13-strong Russian team are making their debut at this year’s Skandia Cowes Week. They hope to follow on from their recent success at Cork Week sailingFollow Me, an IMX45, where they finished seventh overall and first in class.
The mixed team from Rostovskaya Oblast in Taganrog, Southern Russia, have sailed together since they were very young and there is only one English speaker among them, not surprisingly nominated as spokesman for the week!
Although sailing is a popular sport in Russia and many learn from a young age, it is unusual for a Russian big boat sailing team to venture into Europe, mainly because of the travel logistics. With this in mind Serguei Kotsiouba, the owner, made a big decision in 2002 and sailed the boat from Russia to La Trinit&eacut; in France. The boat’s been there ever since competing on the European circuit. Kotsiouba commented:
“Because the season in Russia is fairly short due to the extreme weather conditions where the sea quite literally freezes over, the local sailing is finished by November. Those who want to continue training have to venture to the Black Sea.
“Keeping the boat in France is fantastic because it allows us to train and compete more than we’d be able to do in Russia and allows us to sail at regattas that we’ve read about for so many years. I’ve heard that Cowes Week is a beautiful regatta. The Solent is a place so famous for sailing and I have always wanted to sail there.”
TheFollow Meteam are members of the UTS sailing club, one of the biggest clubs in Russia and their sponsor for this event is a Russian company called U Transit.