The Finn Junior European Champion Arkadiy Kistanov (RUS) will begin his challenge for the Finn Silver Cup, the Junior World Championship on Tuesday when racing gets underway in Valencia. He will be up against 30 of the best Finn juniors in the world as he tried to win the title for the second time in his sailing career.
He first won the title as a relative unknown in 2011. Back then it was held on his home waters in Moscow. Last year in Hoorn, Netherlands, he finished a close second to Anders Pedersen (NOR) who is now too old to compete.
How confident is he ahead of this year’s event? “I am looking forward and feel good about this event. There will be a lot of good guys, but I hope I will can show some good sailing in Valencia. I have trained hard and I'm ready.”
“Four years ago I just didn't know so much about the Finn. I was weaker, but I had sailed a lot of hours in Moscow and I was 110 per cent ready for those conditions, and I just did 110 per cent of what I could do. Now, I think, my strengths are more varied and I can do more.”
He recently won the Junior European title in Split, but perhaps more importantly for him he also finished fifth overall in the senior event. “In the most of the previous competitions it looked like I have not done so well, but I think that I can sail better. I hoped that the European title would be my goal, but I really didn't think that I would be top five as well. So, I was really surprised and very happy with this result.”
He has come a long way in four years and is now part of the Fantastica Sailing Team. He described his development since 20111. “After the Silver Cup in 2011 a team of young Russians started to train in Europe with the old Russian Finn sailor Oleg Khopersky (RUS). We trained together for two years and we really spent a lot of time together training but there was not any real benefits afterwards. So, at the end of 2013 the team was split.”
“Then in the following January I came to Valencia to train in Luca Devoti's Dinghy Academy. I came here with my own money, and after three months, in January 2014, my money was gone. At that moment Lanfranco Cirillo (ITA) asked to me to join the Fantastica team. Initially I didn't want to change my training group in the middle of the training season, so, he just helped to fund me to stay here. I finished my work at the Dinghy Academy just before Palma last year and trained alone until Santander, when I joined the Fantastica team. And I'm really happy now that I did this.”
“Now we are all focussed on the Olympics. Egor [Terpigorev] will go to the test event. We still have to qualify the country in Takapuna this year, and selection between Russians will be based on Palma and Hyeres next year.”
“Egor is my main opponent in this selection. He has really good fitness and he is fast in stronger winds. He also can go well in other wind conditions. Also Anatoly Korshikov (RUS) can compete for the place at the Olympics, because when he is focused he is a dangerous guy.”
“After the Silver Cup I will continue my physical programme. I think I need to improve some of my hiking power and also I will work a lot on my downwind techniques. What I need is just to be ready and work at it 100 per cent, and I will do it.”
What else does he do besides Finn sailing? “I like cycling a lot, but it is not possible to have nice cycling in Moscow. Also I started a bit of windsurfing and I really like this. I'm reading a lot and I will soon go and do my PhD, so I can have a job.”
What conditions is he expecting for the week ahead? “I have spent a lot of time sailing in Valencia, but I haven't been here in summer. It will be hot and there will be sea breeze from 12 knots and more. I really like sailing in Valencia. Maybe it's a bit too hot at the moment, but you can have all conditions here during the year.”
Racing for the Finn Silver Cup in Valencia begins on Tuesday.