Anna Basalkina: “Two days without food”

Malta ended one of the most prestigious offshore regattas – 600-mile Rolex Middle Sea Race. The crew of the Russian “Heroes” – Igor Rytov and Anna Basalkina (tie-coach Academy sailing of the Yacht club of Saint-Petersburg in the National sailing League), passed in race two and took third place in the division, IRC Double Handed. But for Basalkina this regatta was the debut in the offshore.

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 crew passed only in August, this is an incredible success for boaters. In Marseille Igor Rytov and Anna Basalkina for the first time together to be trained on the “Hero”. After a 10-day gathering athlete Academy sailing has agreed to the proposal of Igor to take part in the Rolex Middle Sea Race and never regretted.

In an interview to the press service of the Academy Anna has shared his impressions of the regatta and told about plans for next year.

– How to you was the regatta?

It was my first Rolex Middle Sea Race, so to compare especially there is nothing. Overall, for us, the regatta has developed more or less successfully. The minimum objective was simply to finish, since it is the third, the regatta after the Sydney – Hobart and Fastnet. We knew that a lot of boats go for a variety of reasons – someone breaks down, someone can not stand. Assumed that will pass a regatta for four or four and a half days, but in the end we walked almost six.

In the first four days we were becalmed. We had to work around these calm spots to roll the extra mile which added to time. In addition, the afternoon was very hot, nowhere to hide, and stuffy inside the boat. After four days of calm we waited for a strong wind. Before the race, forecasters predicted 50 knots. Well, this prediction did not come true, but it was still 30 knots and more. A difficult moment came when we met the wind at 11 am on the end of the fourth day. The evening came to an island, where he planned to take a reef in the staysail, because it is difficult and dangerous to go into the tank together in the boat. The day we stood, and at night most of the fleet started to go the distance. The temptation to stay on the island was very large: the wind almost was not attracted by city lights and the smells of the restaurants. But we took a reef in the staysail, continued the movement, came out from behind the island, operated, and went into the tacking. The penultimate night was the heaviest for the whole regatta.

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

– I will not say that I was someone trying to persuade. Igor suggested that I try. I agreed because I wanted to test myself. I have not had a single offshore, an even 100 miles. Rolex Middle Sea Race – this was my first offshore, first 100 miles and even more Double Handed. Apparently, the sporting spirit haunts me. In August, we with Igor were trained in Marseilles on this boat. We had 10 days to study the materiel. We figured, how can the two of us to handle, to distribute the watches. The day after the end of fees I have confirmed their participation. To stop halfway it was already weird.

What it feels like to participate in the race crew, consisting of only two people?

– I have even now not fit in the head as the two of us passed it. The last two stormy days we spent with practically no food and hot. In such a situation, the most important thing is to count your time and energy on maneuvers to do in advance and do not forget to relax. If possible, go lay down and rest. It was also difficult to do because the day is not very sleepy, but I had to make an effort. At any time, the partner can call to do the maneuver. For every maneuver took a lot of physical strength. The simplest elements, we spent much more time than a full crew

– After all the tests, the Rolex Middle Sea Race you have the desire to go to this race next year?

Very interesting and right question. Everyone who runs such a race, the first thing they say: “Never!”. At the finish line, Igor began to ask me: “how was it? Well, what?” I replied that it is too early to say, but I didn’t have a hard denial. I can’t say for sure “Yes” or “no”, it will take some time.

I believe that any experience is useful. I might want to try again yourself and pass the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

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