Latvia’s only training yacht Spaniel has concluded its participation in the international teaching and yacht regatta The Tall Ships Races 2012. The Spaniel showed exceptional results in all three contests: Spaniel earned the «Fastest regatta participant» title in the first stage; earned the 4th place in the second stage and the 3rd place in the third stage.
The «Fastest regatta participant» title was awarded for the first time. Latvia’s team earned this award in the first stage – from Saint-Malo to Lisbon – performing the 600 mile long voyage in the absolute fastest time (three days, 12 hours, 30 minutes and 4 seconds). In the second stage, (Lisbon-Cadiz) Spaniel competed with it long-term competitor, the 19-meter-long two-mast Esprit from Germany, and earned the 4th place.
«The final stage – 520 mile long stage (A Coruña – Dublin) – was the hardest challenge for the team. When crossing the Bay of Biscay, the yacht was caught in a heavy storm that proved to be a dramatic adventure for most participants of the regatta. In the first night after the start, an eight meter wave threw Spaniel on its right side with its mast reaching the water. Two member of the team ended up overboard, but, thanks to safety precautions, both were successfully brought back on board without serious injuries. As a result of the incident, the yacht’s medium range radio, satellite phone, navigation equipment was damaged. In addition, one window was broken, several accumulators powered down, navigation maps ended up wet and several hoist grips were lost. All this made it so much harder to change sails and establish communications with the committee. But the team continued its participation under Captain Normunds Strods, by staying in communication thanks to a Polish yacht Pogoria that was nearby,»- said Chairman of Latvian Sailing Training Association Ugis Kalmanis.
And even though the yacht was damaged in the third stage, and the team was forced to manage with all kinds of difficulties, Spaniel earned the 3rd place in this stage.
The yacht’s return to Riga is planned for the second week of September.
The Tall Ships Races 2012 took place from July 5 to August 26 along the following route: Saint-Malo (France) – Lisbon (Portugal) – Cadiz (Spain) – A Coruña (Spain) – Dublin (Ireland).
55 yachts from 19 countries participated. Latvia’s Spaniel participates in this regatta since 1998 and is the only C class yacht that earned 16 awards in its class, including 7 first place awards.