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Sail Training making the world smaller….and better

Posted on: 29.08.18

Its been a busy 24 hours in Yeosu with an unusual Crew Parade late yesterday evening followed by sports competitions today (29th August).

The evening Crew Parade saw around 300 people march through the city streets to the beat of drummers from Bima Suci (Indonesia) and Nadezhda (Russia) as well as local Udo drummers.

After an hour the Parade stopped at Yi Sun Shin Square, beside the famous Turtle Ship (a war ship used by the Korean Navy during the Joseon dynasty, from the early 15th century until the 19th century).

Whilst some of the Parade were granted a rest from smouldering heat, the crew of Bima Suci entertained everyone with a thrilling musical show which included drummers doing gymnastics with their drums, even holding them in their teeth!

During the spectacular ending to the show, one of the two Drum Majors stood on top of a pyramid of drums while twirling a baton in each hand in a breath-taking display before saluting his senior officers watching proudly from the sidelines.

Finally, the Parade set off again and made their noisy but tuneful way back to the port, still waving enthusiastically to all the local people who had come out to watch.

Today, has been a day of inter-ship sports between Nadezhda and Bima Suci.  Starting with an obstacle relay which included line throwing, an egg and spoon lap and finishing with a sack race, it was followed by a Tug O’War competition, which neither ship wanted to lose! Before each competition the two teams greeted each other with hugs and handshakes and congratulated the winning team at the end, giving one another gifts in a sporting gesture that exemplifies the spirit of Tall Ships Races.  As Sail Training International Race Chairman, Einar Corwin, said while watching

“This is what makes the world smaller….and better”.

The teams then moved onto a local football stadium to challenge each other on the pitch, with the captain of Bima Suci captaining his team on the pitch and the Race Chairman acting as referee.   

A warm welcome to our newest recruit – Bima Suci

The Indonesian Navy’s much loved and legendary KRI Derawuci is sadly missed from the Tall Ships Races and Regattas.  Still sailing, though restricted now to Indonesian waters, she brought music, dancing, joy and friendship to quaysides at Tall Ships Races on many occasions.

Her replacement has now been built and launched and has already made her mark in Yeosu for the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta 2018, with a strong desire to prove herself in the first Tall Ships Race of her career, from Yeosu to Vladivostok, racing against the competitive and very experienced Nadezhda (Russia).

Built by Construcciones Navales Paulino Freire Shipyard in Vigo, Spain, Bima Suci was officially launched at the Freire Shipyard on Oct 17 2016.  The launch ceremony was led by Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu along with the President of the Republic of Indonesia Megawati Soekarnoputri.  After undergoing sea trials she was officially handed over from Spain to Indonesia on 12 September 2017, attended by the sixth Indonesian Vice-President General (rtd) Try Sutrisno and the Spanish President Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Nunez Feijo as well as Spanish Military and Governmental officials.

The maiden voyage from Vigo to Indonesia took three months, arriving in the first week of December 2017.    2018 sees Bima Suci undertake her maiden tour to countries in East Asia, taking in Batam (Indonesia), Zhanjjang (China), Yeosu (South Korea), Vladivostok (Russia) and returning via Yokohama (Japan), Quigdao (China), Jeju (South Korea), Manila (Philippines), and Bitung (Indonesia) before returning to base in Surabaya.   A total distance of 10407 nautical miles over 98 days commanded by Lt Col (N) Widiyatmoko Baruno Aji with 69 crew members, 17 support staff, and 102 Naval cadets.  The cadets comprise those training in Navigation, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Marines and Logistics.

Bima Suci is named after one of the stories of the Mahabharata puppetry.  Bima was the second knight from the family of five brothers of the Pandavas.  He was a character who is an example to humans being valiant, firm, strong, steadfast, obedient and honest.

Technical specifications

Class of ship: Barque

Length: 111.20m

Width: 13.65m

Speed :

  • • 12 knots with engine
  • • 15 knots with sails

Engine Deisel: MAN 6L21/31

Number of sails: 26

Despite being a traditional sailing ship, below decks she is very modern and is fitted out with everything required of a current day training ship.  The splendid main bridge is located above the training bridge where cadets learn the skills of navigation.

Lessons are taken in the mess room, which doubles as a classroom equipped with projectors and screens and which can be divided into three rooms with an overall capacity for 96 students.

The Hospital is well equipped and attended by the ship’s doctor, who tells us the most frequent illness onboard is the common cold!

Often known as the heart of the ship, the Galley is relatively spacious and very well equipped, including four large rice cookers for the ten tons of rice which will be cooked over a three-month voyage.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner each consist of rice with chicken or fish and vegetables.

Bima Suci has three missions: Diplomatic visits; training of the naval cadets; and to increase cultural awareness.  Known for her musical talents, all cadets are taught to dance and play instruments before they learn to sail.

About the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta

The two-port Regatta takes place between Yeosu, South Korea (27th August to 1st September), and Vladivostok, Russia (9th to 14th September).  Primarily state owned vessels are taking part, including ships from Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Russia.

The 4th Eastern Economic Forum is being held in Vladivostok at the same time as the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta 2018 (11-13 September), where world leaders are expected to be in attendance.     

About our sponsor: Sovcomflot 

Sovcomflot (SCF) is Russia’s largest shipping company and one of the global leaders in the maritime transportation of hydrocarbons, as well as the servicing oil and gas projects on the continental shelf, including offshore seismic exploration. The world’s leading operator and largest owner of ice-class vessels designed to operate in difficult navigational conditions: 79 ice-class vessels rated from ICE 1C to ARC7 and Icebreaker ICE-15. The Company’s fleet (owned and chartered) specialises in hydrocarbon transportation from regions with challenging icy conditions and includes 147 vessels with a combined deadweight of 12,732,069 tonnes.
The Group has offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Limassol, London and Dubai. Over 7,800 employees at sea and ashore. The Group is one of the largest employers in Russia’s coastal towns of the North-West, Southern and Far Eastern regions.

 A Russian translation of this article is available here: Translation 30 August