A ten-day regatta at Tallinn in the Soviet Union was a full scale dress rehearsal for next year's Olympic contest.
A ten-day regatta at Tallinn in the Soviet Union was a full scale dress rehearsal for next year's Olympic contest. And most foreign yachting officials said they were impressed with the efficiency of the organisation and the quality of the facilities. But some of them complained of official interference which sometimes hindered their view of the action. The sailing centre at Tallinn, the historic capital of Estonia 90 minutes by air from Moscow, reflects the Kremlin's plan for the Olympics to serve as a showpiece for the Soviet Union and its way of life. While the organisers were winning mostly praise on land, the Soviet Union's Tornado team won credit on the water.
SYNOPSIS: An impressive purpose-built sailing centre on the wide bay of Tallinn, is equipped with elaborate modern facilities for spectators, newsmen, officials and competitors. Among those who were impressed were the New Zealand crews. But one of them said he found the wind conditions were especially tricky.
The British Tornado crew of Stephen Elle and Reg White found the conditions suited them better, and they finished third overall.
The Australians hope to improve from their performance this year. The winner, Viktor Potapov, is the only sailor from the host country to reach the top of his class. This final race was unlikely to affect the outcome: The Soviet crew had already accumulated sufficient points to assure them of victory from the best six finishes in seven races.
From the start the race was a tactical battle, with crews employing light weather techniques to search the gentle airs for added lift from wind shifts. The normally swift catamarans were unable to show pace even out at the farthest off shore of the three Olympic courses. The wind remained uncooperative, but it seemed to suit the home crew.
Brazil had been up near the leaders in most of the races, but managed only fourth overall. The Russian skipper, Viktor Potapov with crewman Alexander Zebin in support, used his light-air skills to drift towards victory.
The West Germans Spengler and Schmall in second place overall were too far back in the standings to threaten the Soviet Union, although they were not far behind in the last race. Some competitors complained of too much interference from naval vessels, but agreed the wind is set fair for the Olympics.