RUSSIA 'A' and Estonia will clash today in the final of the 2012 Kingdom Match Race Sailing Event, being held at the Bahrain Sailing Club near Al Jazayer Beach in Zallaq.
Competing in J24 boats, Russia 'B' defeated host nation Bahrain 'A', while Estonia edged defending champions Russia 'A', setting up a mouth-watering title decider.
Today's final will take place at 9am in a best-of-three race format, to be followed by the prize-distribution ceremony and the closing of the championship from 3pm onwards at the club premises. Skippered by rising sailing hopeful Ebrahim Abdulla, who is seeded in the top 200 sailors in the world ranking, Bahrain 'A' headed into their semi-final race against the Russians hoping to extend their impressive show in the early stages.
But Abdulla's crew, who picked up seven wins from their 10 races, faced a much stronger and experienced team and watched their dreams of winning this competition for the first time go up smoke. Led by the world's 26th ranked sailor Sergey Musikhin, Russia 'B' lived up to many expectations as they stretched their top form performance to book a deserving place in the final.
Later on, Estonia made it past Russia 'A' in one of the competition's most exciting races to set up their final showdown against another Russian team. Former Bahrain event winner and world's 24th ranked sailor Mati Sepp, who holds the highest ranking in the championship, skippered his Estonian crew to a hard-fought victory against an experienced Russian skipper Andrea Arbozov and his crew.