The windy Pärnu-Kihnu leg kickstarted the A. Le Coq 59. Moonsund Regatta | 12 Jul 16, piret.salmistu

The festive opening of the regatta was held on the evening of July 9 in Pärnu where the sailors were greeted by minister Indrek Saar, deputy mayor Rainer Aavik, Pärnu YC commodore Väino Hallikmägi, Egon Elstein from the Yachting Union and Margus Hiet representing Saaremaa Marine Sport Association in Pärnu Yacht Club. The speeches were followed by mellow music and a long-awaited summer party leaving also time for plotting for the long regatta ahead.

On Sunday at 13:00 a fleet of 111 yachts from five contries set sail for the first leg. Almost the entire length of the leg had to be sailed against wind and unfortunately there were already some teams who were forced to discontinue.

PRO Andres Talts said the conditions were perfect for sailing. At the starting point wind was measured at 6-7 m/s, the sun was shining ad the sea was wavy. During the day the wind picked up and the average wind speed of the leg was 11-12 m/s with gusts of 15 m/s. „Most of the leg was windward but the wind followed the course very favourably. The first yacht reached Kihnu half past five and the last one came in two hours later.

In the big boat group ORC I with seven yachts racing the Helly Hansen/Sportland leg was victorious for ORC European champion Jaak Jõgi on Forte from Kalev Yacht Club. Yacht Tuule with Jaan Mugra at the helm was just 18 seconds behind them. Sylvia and the team of Aare Kööp came in third.

ORC II with 13 yachts was won by the last year's overall runner-up Merepärl from Pärnu Yacht Club steered by Alari Akermann. Margus Žuravljov on Amserv Toyota Sailing Team from Kalev YC was second and Ivar Aru on Cherie, also Kalev YC, was third.

The 3rd group CDL<8, where eight teams are racing for the Estonian champion title, was headed by the last year's winner yacht Kadri from Saaremaa Merispordi Seltsis with Tanel Õun at the helm. Lagle II with Ülari Velviste from the same club was second and Lagle II with Jaan Tiidemann from Kalev YC came in third.

The first leg in ESTLYS I with eleven teams racing was won by Tessa and Alar Ivanson's team. Santa Maria from Kalev YC and Mairold Metsaviir came in second and, the only foreign yacht making it to the podium in the first leg, Fortuna II from Hercules with Stanislav Vikkhorev at the helm, were third. There are 17 yachts racing in this group.

The two first teams in ESTLYS II to reach Kihnu were both from Pärnu Yacht Club: Priit Jürioja on Windwalker and Tanel Kursi on Põhjatäht were first and second, respectively. Last year's winner Brigitta with Mikk Metstak's team from Kalev YC were third.

A group with enormous amount of teams competing, ESTLYS III, was successful for Aurora and Pille Kaas from Haapsalu Yacht Club. Kalev YC yacht Kristi with Janno Luurmees at the helm were second and Peeter Siniväli's team on Iir from Kalev YC were third. There are 28 teams competing in this group.

Among Folkboots the first leg was victorious for the last year's champioships silver Peeter Välkmann on Tee Chee from Kalev YC. 'Fairytale king'  Jaanus Nõgisto on Muinasjutukuningas came in four minutes later and Meelis Lindemann on Tiina from Kelvingi were third. There are 17 folkboots racing for the Estonian Champions title.


The evening on Kihnu was very entertaining with lots of music music and the Eurocup final, of course.

Second leg to Haapsalu set sail on Monday morning.