This is the first in a series of interviews of people who sail in the SB20 Class. To kick us off meet Vladimir!
Name: Vladimir Prosikhin
SB20 fleet: ?
Boat name (if applicable): Nika, Team Nika
Sail number (if applicable): not received yet for a new boat
Why did you choose to sail in the SB20 fleet?
Initial point was to have more steering and racing practice for RC44, but later enjoyed as a separate project.
What is your experience in one design racing?
Just RC44 and SB20.
Which events are you planning to compete at during 2013?
I will stay for the whole RC44 2013 circle, will take part in the Russian National SB20 Championship and most probably SB20 World Championship
Do you have a favourite SB20 sailing memory?
I tried SB20 in 2010. We entered the first Russian National Championship just after a couple training sessions on a rented boat with half amateur crew. The Championship collected only 5 boats at completely different level from Rodion Luka at the helm to beginners. Before the last race we shared the 3d and the 4th position. In the last race 3 boats out of 5 including us have badly brouched – it was gusting up to 35knts. I was overboard, our rival ripped the sails. It took a while for my crew to pick me up from the cold water but we managed to finish in a control time and our rival did not. We became bronze medallist and that was my best achievement in sail racing for that moment.
Where is your favourite sailing location? Have you sailed your SB20 there?
I was cruising in South Finish archipelago and the Aland islands for 8 years. I still find this place the most beautiful sailing destination. Since I built my Shipman 72 in 2009 I stayed with her in the Med. That is also nice. The RC44 fleet is travelling a lot from the Canary Islands to Austrian lakes and to Sweden and this is one of important points that makes it so attractive. I sailed my SB20 in St. Petersburg only but in 10 days will spend a weekend sailing SB20 in Cascais, Portugal.
If you could change one thing about the SB20, what would it be?
The project and the class are well designed and deep thought. It is a right size and a perfect draft for my shallow home waters. The boat is inexpensive but reasonably sporty with a genakker and planning. I still can be competitive in the fleet with much younger athletes. For me it works as a perfect combination with my RC44 practise.
What is your sailing background? (Which classes/boats and where?)
I have no dingy experience. I stepped on deck of a sailboat at the age of not much under 40. I sailed and raced kill boats and centreboards in the Ukrainian south (Azov and black sea), have owned and sailed a couple of cruisers in Finland, raced my Nadejda, Shipman 72 fast cruiser in Mediterranean Rolex circle: Giraglia, Middle Sea, Maxi World etc. A couple times raced the old VO70 Ericsson 1 in classic races like Middle Sea. I’ve also been invited by my friends to share the helm of their Maxis in races like Lora Piana. I joined RC44 in May 2011.
What are your past sailing achievements?
I consider one design races as the only fair game. My best achievement in RC44 so far is #4 in the last Oman regatta. Team Nika has also won a couple regattas in Match Races, I sailed on board but not at the helm. I was 2nd in the Russian National SB20 Championship in 2012, that was a real one, not like 2010. This is probably my best personal achievement is sailing.
What do you never go sailing without?
No superstitions: just foul gear, watch, life vest.
Who would be on your dream SB20 crew?
Actually I am staying with the same crew I raced with in 2012: Artem Basalkin and Alex Martemianov.
What was your best ever days sailing? Why was it so special?
In 2000 I survived the night in a heavy Bora blowing steady 50knts in Azov sea. The engine has gone, I’ve been almost washed out changing the jib at the bow. In the morning we managed to set aground our 25 feet ballasted centreboard Dasha to the flat muddy shoal lee side to Belosaraiskaia spit. There are no tides in this waters but the wind kept blowing so hard that the water has gone another half a kilometre out of the shore. We stayed ashore comfortably and safe until the wind dyed and the sea filled in again.
Why did you choose to sail the SB20?
SB20 fleet in Russia is quickly growing and quite competitive, especially in my native St. Petersburg. For me it provides the only opportunity to have practice races almost every weekend and training sessions after normal office hours (the club is 40 minutes drive from my office and 15 minutes – from my apartment)