Astrakhan. Championship. Afterword.

At the end of September in Astrakhan gathered more than a hundred athletes from all over Russia. The city hosted the first championship of Russia on sailing classes Beam, a Beam of radial and Beam-Mini.

© Denis Bronnikov

In the may issue of “Astrakhan rag” from 1896 in the article “On the yacht club in General and about our future in particular” someone “concerned person from Astrakhan,” joyfully welcomed the news of the opening of the club and rhetorically asked: “you have to wonder at this late appearance of the yacht club, taking into consideration the town’s location and its short distance from the sea,” which, however, “better late than never, because the Amateur swimming without doubt one of the noblest of sports…”.

“Noble” for a century the principle has not changed. The same sail the same boat. Caring became more. As well as wanting to remain incognito. Modern, wishing to remain anonymous hero also train motivated: he is indifferent. And now he had the opportunity for “sharp” dialogue on the pages of the respected Metropolitan publications:

– Why the sailing Federation of Russia for such a serious contest has chosen our city? Astrakhan, alas – not a place where “tremble” in the wind of the sails and “rinse” pennants. No traditions of any kind, no special achievements – and sail on the Volga rarely pleasing to the eye of the citizen…

Meets Valery Prokopenko, the organizer of the competition, President of the regional branch of the Federation of sailing of Russia:

– An allegation. Traditions are not born in a vacuum. They are formed naturally in the cultural community, and then the sports and particularly yachting, becomes life, – such a form of existence. Now we know a lot about your yacht past. And what traditions were laid in the basis of this idea. But in the fire of revolution and Civil war almost all the Amateur fleet, which was formed 22 years old, and the building of the yacht club burned down literally. The phenomenon of yachting as fun of the rich” (which is so not true) simply ceased to exist.

Before the war, no Navy, no yachting sports in the city simply did not exist. After, they were engaged in both individual enthusiasts. Common organizational and sports centre of this work appeared only in 1953 with the opening of the Sailing and rowing club. Again, preference was given to grebnice. You can name dozens of great names of athletes and coaches, left a bright trace in the regional yachting. All these materials are on the site of our yacht club. Unfortunately, our athletes did not show itself in Republican and all-Russian competitions.

Fade away is a wonderful sport in the 70-ies and 80-ies gave no yacht clubs, organized by specialized training institutions – in particular, the Caspian naval College. A real breakthrough was made with the organization in the late ‘ 80s Water-sailing center “Rivmar”, the Astrakhan yacht-club and the establishment of the regional branch of the Federation of sailing of Russia. Dozens of Hiking regattas, competitions and participation of our teams in national and international competitions are the result of hard work of organizers of the sailing motion. This is in General our history. It modest. But it is ours!

As for the competition of this high rank in the city proper, pragmatic solution, which we believe is an advance and an act of great trust. And we must not forget that the holding of the championship of Russia here – is the action of resonance, which popularitywith this sport attracts the attention not only of citizens and guests of the city, but power from which we expect greater attention and financial support…

     – The championship is over, how do You assess the organisation and whether it managed to perform “plenty of plans”?

– Not for me to assess the quality of the training events, this will tell the direct participants – the coaches, athletes and judges. “Parsing” we haven’t had flights. But, something is obvious: there are errors, there are mistakes… championship, as litmus paper, sharply outlined all our problems. I really hope that as a result of such competitions on a national scale we can finally have our own sailing sports school. We have strengthened our ties and to work closely with the Ministry of education and science and the Ministry of sports. We have not had any problems with them, except one, the competition was not allocated any money… Thanks to the sponsors: “the Astrakhan branch of LUKOIL-NIZHNEVOLZHSKNEFTEPRODUCT”!

– You are one of the most experienced participants of the competition, fifty years of the measure of the court, we are very interested in Your point of view on the championship in Astrakhan?

This question is answered by Yury Ignatievich Degtyarev, the oldest member of the judiciary, judge Russia, meritel’:

– It was a great competition. Impeccably organized and conducted. I’ve been places, but this procedure never met. Of course, the athletes had their difficulties. Like everywhere else in the competition. The waters of the river Volga, on which there is a competition, was very difficult. Because of the current, and a plurality of ducts. But all were in equal conditions. I didn’t see the trainers work with their pupils on a daily analysis of the races where it would be necessary to consider the hydrology of the river, the rate of flow. Hence the error yachtsmen on the course…

– What are the successes of our team? That said You, as the organizer of the contest?

Meets Andrey Lyukshin, organizer of competitions, member of the Presidium of the regional office of Federal border service of Russia:

– The achievements are more than modest. Yet, our achievements are our coaches, techs, volunteers. The championship was held in extreme weather conditions: cold rain and wind gave way to a short “bucket” with the wind, and again the rain. Two days the drivers just sat on the beach waiting for conditions for the race. In the end of the twelve scheduled barely managed to hold only eight…

Very much a shortage of resources. Boats, motors, other equipment necessary for the championship, collecting bit by bit. Funds some appeared at the last moment, and all the time felt their limitation is that the prizes that the work of the people… We live on the water, and the conditions for the establishment and development of sailing sports absolutely no. All equipment is built literally on his knees. No pontoons, no slips, no Navy… of Course, the lack of experience in holding such events affected.

I personally have nothing to compare the result of the organization of the championship. No experience of leaving for other competitions of such level. First and foremost, it is the result of lack of funding of our sport. The inability to assess the validity of the claims of the participants – do not know again, who better, who is worse. I do not want to learn from your mistakes, but you have…

– What are your impressions of the competition from those who were on the water? Whether justified criticism from some participants of the race?

Meets Andrew Finger, the second captain of the judicial ship:

– To Astrakhan, for the first time! For Astrakhan is an event! More than a dozen teams and one hundred and thirty participants! How many people – so many opinions. Of course, affected by the lack of experience and knowledge of the nuances that for some boaters turned out to be decisive in their negative assessment.

In fact, I take only one complaint – the lack of dressing rooms. Irritation about the area, beach, Parking lot, weather and strong currents. Well, you can review each separately. It pertains to unsolvable (rain and flow). Something was assumed in advance (Parking of vehicles not on the race clearing). Something not in the competence of the organisers (judging). The area was cramped and it had to be quick to understand. Hydrology – when the river flows four unique sleeves, – and who was able to understand it, he was in a winning situation. In any case, all were under the same conditions.

The competitive drive was, but that was dissatisfied with the distance or location of the starting line – these were always and everywhere… So WHA if we were in the same “field” for the first time, let’s work together to make the second time it was a true sports facilities.

Anyway – for Astrakhan is a celebration and thank you to all who prepared and participated in it!

– What You personally have learned, being on the river, in the midst of a competitive process?

– I think for all of us is a great experience and an occasion to reflect on the correctness of the training process and technical training of the fleet. It for any money can not buy. And that the acquaintance and communication with Athletes with a capital letter, the opportunity to see technical and tactical training are expensive.

– And how our young countrymen appreciate your participation in competitions?

Meets Vladislav Glazkov, club “Young sailor” of the Astrakhan Centre of aesthetic education of children and youth:

– It was not easy to chase. That’s not our level. Much is not ours… unfortunately, sailing in Astrakhan – in contrast to other regions of the country is developed very poorly…

Alice Belkin, Astrakhan water-sailing center “Rivmar”:

– Of course it’s hard. For example, my race. Now it’s more the experience than the results…


Well, along with “concerned person from Astrakhan,” I dare say that sports competitions were held. And competition sailing in the city “by the river, by the sea” – to live and to be!

Evgeny Degtyarev,


Photo Denis Bronnikov

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