August 1 in Dannish city of Aarhus was held a significant event for the Russian sail. At the annual meeting of the international Association of Windsurfing RS:X Russia, specifically the St. Petersburg Yacht club, received the right to host the world championship 2019 in the Olympic class RS:X.
No doubt this event will draw the attention of the world community and will further promote windsurfing: beautiful, dynamic, affordable and exciting leisure and sports. The last successes of the Russian Olympic team were just in the same form of the Olympic program: in 2016 at the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, the young Stefania Elfutina won a bronze medal in the Windsurfing class RS:X.
At the moment, the contract with the international class Association has already been signed. Dates and place of the competition are approved: from 4 to 10 August 2019 in the Park Of The 300th Anniversary Of St. Petersburg.
How and when the idea of nomination of the St. Petersburg Yacht club for the right to host the championship was formed. What are the organizational plans and how is the preparation for the competition told us the Head of Projects of the St. Petersburg Yacht club and the Director of the competition Elena Solovyeva.
A: How do you fell about the fact that such an event will be organized by the Yacht Club of St. Petersburg and you personally?
E: I am extremely happy that the St. Petersburg Yacht club was entrusted with such an important event. However, I had no doubt that we will get the right to hold the competition: the St. Petersburg Yacht club has a great experience of international and national competitions, and in combination with the opportunity for athletes to visit St. Petersburg — it is a win-win combination.
As for me, it’s as exciting as when I first took the Extreme Sailing Series stage. This Championship is just as significant event in the Russian sailing. It’s a great feeling to be on the roll. This is a very serious professional task: the world championship is an opportunity not only to show to the international community our competence in terms of the organization of sailing competitions but to give rise to international Olympic competitions in Russia. For me it is a level up in professional activity.
In my opinion, windsurfing is a great start both in terms of the complexity of the organization and in terms of popularization of sailing in the country. Windsurfing is very spectacular, beautiful and stylish. We hope to attract a large audience to the events taking place in the Park of the 300th anniversary.
A: In your opinion, which factors leaded St.Petersburg to the victory?
E: There are some particular reasons. First, the World Cup had made a great contribution to changing the image of Russia among international sports organizations, foreign athletes and fans. The organizers, and most importantly – the PR service of the championship, worked so well that all possible provocations and negative opinions were nullified, which gives us the opportunity to start a dialogue with all the above on an advanced level.
Secondly, the experience of St. Petersburg Yacht club in event management collected in one presentation leaves no questions for the audience. We know what we are talking about and what we will do.
Third, I am sure that personal relations between the world sailing community and representatives of the Russian Olympic team sail also played a very important role. I drew attention to how positively the idea of holding the Championship in Russia was perceived. I think that we owe a significant part of the credit and trust to our athletes, coaches and the Federation.
And of course an important reason – our amazing city. I am sure that most of the participants will not miss the opportunity to get acquainted with its sights and culture.
A: How is the organization of the competition going? Are you working on something already?
E: The organization is in full swing! It began almost immediately after the confirmation of our application: a new location, a new format of the competition, the requirements of the Association RS:X. Everything had to be studied in detail, interpreted and begin to form a project with plans, budget and tasks. It is a misconception that sailing event management has its low season – it just happens to be a little less high.
We plan to make a quality event out of the world championship in RS:X class that would be interesting for everyone from athletes to the public. The priority, of course, will be the sports part: the organization of trouble-free arrival in Russia of athletes and materiel, the work of a qualified panel of judges. When we are 100% sure of this part, we will plan how to “wrap up” the rest of regatta organization including events as amateur competitions, coastal program that will complement sporting events.
We assign a very important role to work with participants. We have to provide them with all the necessary information, support and access to various services.
I’d love the world championship in RS:X class to become our starting point in holding World Championships in different classes. And maybe someday we will grow up to the complex world championship.
A: Will you get any support?
E: Of course, we are sure that we will be supported. This world championship will actually become an acquaintance with Russia of the “big Olympic sail”. The regatta will be the hallmark of our country so it must be made perfectly.
Here we rely on the support of windsurfing enthusiasts and everyone who cares about sailing. We also received preliminary confirmation of support from the main sponsor of our yacht club – Gazprom company. We assume financing of this competition from the Ministry of Sports also.
From the point of view of the sports part of the competition, we count on the participation of the luminaries of sailing and windsurfing, judges and coaches of RS:X class. We want to make the regatta marvelous. Professionals can tell you that even little things matter. For example, incorrectly made locker rooms can spoil the overall good impression for the athletes.
A: What would be the ideal venue for this large-scale regatta?
E: We decided to hold the competition in the Park of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. In addition to a comfortable area which includes a long beach, sufficient racing area, large green zone, it is also a place where you can invite a large number of spectators.
The Park could become a point of meeting and cooperation of amateurs, for whom windsurfing is a hobby, and athletes participating in the world championship.
We dream that in August 2019 the whole Gulf of Finland will be packed with windsurfing sails and kites!