Yacht Racing

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Yacht Racing


racing in sailboats. The current Olympic class sailboats are the Finn (one-man centerboarder), the Flying Dutchman and 470 (two-man centerboarders), the Star, the Soling (three-man keelboat), and the Tornado (two-man catamaran). Continental and World Championship races are also held in other classes, such as the Tempest (two-man keelboat), Dragon, Fireball, and 505. Races are held over a round-trip course with special course markers. The distance of these races is 20–30 km. The winner is determined by the overall score for several races, usually seven. Long-distance races, for example, the Leningrad-Riga race, are held for cruising yachts. Some established transoceanic races are held annually. These include races between America and Europe and America and Hawaii.

Sailing as a sport originated in Great Britain in the 18th century. The first yacht club was founded in the city of Cork, Ireland, in 1720. In Russia, the first yacht club for river sailing was founded in 1860 in St. Petersburg, and by the late 19th century there were more than 50 clubs. Sailing has been part of the Olympic games since 1908. Russian yachtsmen participated for the first time in the Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912, winning a bronze medal. After the October Revolution of 1917, sail racing was developed in the trade union sports associations and the yacht clubs of the Soviet Navy. In 1928 yachting was introduced into the program of the All-Union Spartakiad. The Yacht Racing Section of the USSR, founded in 1936, held the first national regatta, which was won by I. P. Matveev and N. A. Miasnikov. Sailing was included in the Uniform Ail-Union Sports Classification in 1939.

Yachtsmen from Leningrad and the Volga Region were successful competitors in the regattas of the 1930’s, while sailors from Moscow and the Baltic republics have tended to dominate postwar racing. Races have been held mainly in sailboats of the national classes, designed by R. E. Alekseev, P. T. Butte, N. V. Grigor’ev, A. P. Kiselev, E. V. Riabov, and S. V. Ukhin. The building of international class yachts in the Soviet Union began in the 1950’s in connection with the participation of Soviet yachtsmen in the Olympic Games (since 1952) and the entry (in 1956) of the Yacht Racing Section—since 1959, Yacht Racing Federation—of the USSR into the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU). (Founded in 1907, the IYRU had a membership in 1974 that included the national federations of approximately 70 countries.) Contributions to the development of Soviet sailing were made by such promoters of physical culture and athletics as K. V. Aleksandrov, N. M. Ermakov, D. N. Korovel’skii, I. P. Lavrov, B. B. Lobach-Zhuchenko, K. V. Mel’gunov, D. G. Movchan, G. V. Ordzhonikidze, and A. A. Chumakov. Among the most successful Soviet yachtsmen are the Olympic champions T. A. Pinegin and F. V. Shutkov (1960), V. G. Mankin (1968, 1972), and V. F. Dyrdyra (1972). Other leading Soviet sailors include such winners of numerous championships and regattas as Iu. S. Anisimov, E. V. Kanskii, V. P. Leont’ev, V. Ia. Potapov, A. D. Chuchelov, Iu. S. Shavrin, and A. S. Shelkovnikov.

In 1974 the USSR had 110 yacht clubs. More than 30,000 persons were involved in yacht racing, including more than 1,500 Masters of Sports and Masters of Sports of the International Class.

Abroad, yachting is a well-developed sport in the USA, Great Britain, the Scandinavian countries, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Australia, France, the German Democratic Republic (GDR), Brazil, Poland, and Italy. Winners of major international competitions have included P. Elvström (Denmark), P. Petterson (Sweden), W. Kuhweide (FRG), L. North (USA), A. Straulino (Italy), R. Pattison (Great Britain), P. Borowski (GDR), Ö. Bruder (Brazil), and E. Tabarly (France).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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