Meet the Fleet: Rodion Luka

Rodion Luka

Fresh from his dominant performance at the Torbole Grand Slam last week, we caught up with Ukrainian star Rodion Luka to find out more about the former Olympian’s SB20 campaign.

Rodion Luka campaigned a 49er on the Olympic circuit for many years, taking silver at the 2004 Games in Athens in the 49er class, and also competed in the two-man skiff at Sydney in 2000, as well as in the Laser at Atlanta in 1996. He won the 2005 49er World Championships at Moscow, and finished third at three world championships (2001, 2003 and 2008).

His team includes Igor Matvienko, a former 470 world champion (2001). Together they came second at the SB20 Worlds in Hyeres in 2013. Luka also took third at the Hamilton Island World Championship the year before, having won the SB20 Europeans with a Russian crew, there’s no doubt the ‘Skyline team’ have their eyes firmly set on a 2015 World Championship victory.

Name: Rodion Luka

SB20 Fleet: Ukraine

Boat Name: ‘Skyline’

Sail Number: UKR3726

Crew: Igor Matvienko, Igor Severianov and Svetlana Sorokina

What drew you to sail in the SB20 fleet originally? It is the most reasonable class, very tactical and does not require too much preparation.

What is your, and your crew’s, experience in one-design racing? We have quite big experience – in the 49er, Laser, 470. Our team has silver and gold Olympic medals.

Which events are you planning to compete in during 2015? The Grand Slam, Italian Nationals, Worlds and Ukrainian Nationals.

Do you have a favourite SB20 sailing memory? Yes, in the Solent, we sailed in 33-plus knots, trying to test the limits of the SB20. It was flying, and nothing broke.

Where is your favourite sailing location? Lake Garda in summer, the Caribbean in winter.

Have you sailed your SB20 there?  Yes in Garda, but not in the Caribbean.

When you’re not sailing, what do you do? Looking after the Kiev Racing Yacht Club as I’m the Commodore! We have about 17 club events and 26 corporate events in season. Plus we open the youth squad with 24 new Optimists this year.

Anything else we need to know about you? We are a pro-amateur team. We invite Svetlana to help with the sponsorship and I hope she will enjoy the racing and our company!


A champagne moment for Luka and his crew after winning the 2015 Sb20 Torbole Grand Slam

A champagne moment for Luka and his crew after winning the 2015 Sb20 Torbole Grand Slam

Team Russia UON SB20 World Championships credit Katie Ashworth SB20 Class

Rodion Luka helming for Oleg Zherebtsov (RUS) took third at the 2012 worlds in Hamilton Island – the ‘Raketa’ team were also SB20 European Champions that year.