Anna Basalkina: “Two days without food”


      Anna Basalkina: “Two days without food”
      Malta has completed one of the most prestigious offshore regattas – the 600-mile Rolex Middle Sea Race. The crew of the Russian Bogatyr – Igor Rytov and Anna Basalkina (steering coach of the Academy of Sailing of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in the National Sailing League) – passed the race together and took third place in the IRC Double Handed division. But for Basalkina, this regatta became a debut in offshore.

Anna Basalkina: “Two days without food”

According to the adjusted time, Bogatyr passed the 600-mile Rolex Middle Sea Race in 5 days, 22 hours, 25 minutes and 24 seconds. Given that the first training camp, the crew passed only in August, this is an incredible success for yachtsmen. In Marseilles, Igor Rytov and Anna Basalkina for the first time together trained at the Bogatyr. After a 10-day training camp, the athlete at the Academy of Sailing agreed with Igor’s offer to participate in the Rolex Middle Sea Race and never regretted it.

In an interview with the Academy press service, Anna shared her impressions of the regatta and spoke about plans for next year.

– How did the regatta develop for you?

– This was my first Rolex Middle Sea Race, so there’s nothing to compare with. In general, for us the regatta was more or less successful. The minimum task was to finish, because this is the third most difficult regatta after Sydney – Hobart and Fastnet. We knew that many boats depart for various reasons – someone breaks, someone does not stand up. It was assumed that we would go through the regatta in four or four and a half days, but in the end we walked for almost six.

In the first four days we fell into calm. We had to go around these calm spots, roll extra miles, which added time. In addition, it was very hot during the day, nowhere to hide, and inside the boat it was stuffy. After four days of calm, a strong wind awaited us. Forecasters predicted 50 knots before the race. It is good that this forecast did not materialize, but still there were 30 knots or more. The difficult moment came when we met this wind at 11 am at the end of the fourth day. In the evening we approached the island, where we planned to take the reef in the staysail, since it is difficult and dangerous to go to the tank together in the boat. We stood for a day, and at night most of the fleet began to retreat. The temptation to stay on the island was very great: there was almost no wind, the city lights and the smells of restaurants attracted. But we took the reef on the staysail, continued moving, left the island, got down and went to the tack. The penultimate night was the hardest for the entire regatta.

– Rolex Middle Sea Race is a legendary and very difficult regatta, especially if you pass it together. How did you decide to participate in it and how long did Igor have to persuade you?

– I will not say that someone persuaded me. Igor suggested I try. I agreed because I wanted to test myself. I had not a single offshore behind me, not even 100 miles. Rolex Middle Sea Race – this is my first offshore, the first 100 miles and especially Double Handed. Apparently, the sporting spirit haunts me. In August, Igor and I trained in Marseille on this boat. We had 10 days to study the materiel. We figured out how the two of us could cope, distribute the shifts. A day after the end of the training camp, I confirmed my participation. Stopping halfway was already strange.

– What is it like to participate in a route race with a crew consisting of only two people?

“It doesn’t even fit into my head now how the two of us went through this.” The last two stormy days we spent almost without food and hot. In such a situation, the most important thing is to count your time and energy on maneuvers, do everything in advance and do not forget to relax. If possible – go to bed and relax. It was also difficult to do, because during the day I did not really want to sleep, but I had to overpower myself. At any moment, the partner could call for a maneuver. Any maneuver took a lot of physical strength. We spent much more time on the simplest elements than full-fledged crews

– After all the trials of the Rolex Middle Sea Race, do you have a desire to go to this race next year?

– A very interesting and correct question. Everyone who passes such races, the first thing they say: "Never!". At the finish line, Igor began to ask me: “Well, how? Well? ”I replied that it was too early to say, but I did not have a hard denial. I can’t say exactly “yes” or “no”, some time must pass.

I believe that any experience is useful. Maybe I want to try myself again and go through the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

207 Yesterday # 9625

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