An intense battle for the podium in the Platu25 yacht class took place in the competition on Lake Usma. 11 sailing teams competed for the “Usma SPA Cup” in a strong wind, four of them were teams from Lithuania. Until the last, seventh, the distribution of places was not unambiguous – the scores of the three leading teams “Pandora”, “Bestija” and “Voodoo” were similar. Only the last finish determined the winner and this time the Lithuanian team “Bestija” turned out to be more successful.
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It is significant that the team “Bestija” is not only this year’s Baltic champions, but the yacht suffered a Road Traffic Accident (CSN) on Friday night on the way to the base place in Usma Yacht Club. The trailer, together with the whole boat, overturned on the A10 motorway Riga – Ventspils only less than 25 kilometers before the competition venue. The starboard side of the yacht was severely damaged, cracks formed in the hull and the railings were broken. As explained by the representatives of “Betty”, as a result, the team had limited opportunities to moor the boat in strong winds. A wedge and a slightly bent mast were also struck.
“Despite all the technical defects, we are especially pleased with the success, because, of course, after the accident, the first thought was that the yacht would have to be written off,” “At the beginning, it seemed that our sailing season was over this year and we would not be able to participate not only in the” Usma SPA Cup “competition in Latvia, but also in the remaining two regattas, which are planned for this year in Lithuania.”
As the captain explains, when the team realized that it was possible to appoint a yacht in the water, the primary task was only to participate in assessing the extent of the technical damage and how much the overall geometry of the yacht was affected after the fall. It is no secret that in the Platu25 yacht class, it is often the precise adjustment of boats, mast and cable tension, which takes place with millimeter accuracy, that is crucial. This nuanced distribution of forces on the yacht rigging is very important, which, together with the team’s mastery, is reflected in the results.
On the first day of the competition, when the wind gusts approached 20 knots or 10 meters per second, “Beast”, despite the technical problems, was already able to rank in the top three. But on Saturday, the convincing first place with six points (after deleting one worst result) was taken by the team of A. Žižis’ son Tadas Žižis from Lithuania “Pandora”, but in the second place was the domestic team “Vododoo” with captain Rihards Vaivods.
In general, athletes consider this competition as difficult, because both days of the competition were spent in strong winds. On Sunday, the gusts were up to 25 knots or up to 13 meters per second, which is a thorough endurance test for the small 7.5 meter long Platu25 class yachts and teams. Due to the gusty wind, the athletes could not do without boat damage. On the second day, in order to avoid technical adversity, the decision not to start the competition was made by the teams RA EVOLUTION with captain Ieva Kaļķis and KAŅEPE with captain Līga Platais.
On the final day of the competition, in the strong wind, almost all the teams experienced some kind of broching, which is a sharp and spontaneous yawning of the yacht while walking on the wind. The similar points of the first three, along with these spontaneous heights, brought surprises in the order of the victory podium.
After the first race of the second day, which was the sixth in a row in a row, the leaders were the home team “Voodoo” with 10 points, but the second and third place with the same number of points were shared by the father and son teams – “Bestija” and “Pandora” with 11 points. In the last, seventh, the teams led by both Vaivoda and T.Žižis experienced brooching, and this allowed the leadership of A.Žižis to stand out, allowing the former to encircle the final wind mark of the race distance and also the first to reach the finish line. In this way, “Bestija” got the fateful one point and won the first place in the overall rating with 12 points. “Pandora” finished second and was 13 points ahead of Vaivoda “Voodoo”. The Latvian team also had a total of 13 points, but in seven races for one second place less than the Lithuanians, which was the determining reason for receiving the bronze award.
According to the representatives of the Latvian Platu25 yacht class association, this was the final regatta of the 2020 sailing season in Latvia. The teams plan to actively participate in next year’s competition, because in August 2021, a world championship is planned in Nida, Lithuania, where Latvia is likely to be represented by at least five domestic teams. And it is already certain that if the restrictions of Covid-19 are lifted, next year the world-famous sailing team from Australia EASY TIGER will take part in the championship, which won the second place in the 2018 world championship in Latvia, giving way only to the masterful Italians – EUZ II team .
The wide25 class yacht is a 7.5 meter long sports yacht. Its team usually includes 5 athletes. The wide25 sports yacht class is one of the most popular monotype yacht classes in Europe and currently it is the only monotype sports yacht class in sea sailing in Latvia. The wide25 class is considered to be the best possible bridge between Olympic children and young people sailing and sailing in teams with sea wedge yachts.