The international crews taking part in the inaugural SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta departed from the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok in spectacular style on Friday with a Parade of Sail in Amursky Bay under glorious sunshine.
The vessels representing Japan and Indonesia, in addition to crews from the host nations of South Korea and Russia, set their sails at the end of what has been a hugely successful six-day visit to the Russian port.
Before heading out into open seas, they passed under the iconic Russky Bridge, which cost over US$1bln to construct, and is is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world with a central span of more than 1,100 metres.
During the visit, which was timed to coincide with the 4th Eastern Economic Forum, crews enjoyed a range of social, sporting and cultural activities. The action-packed programme was organised to foster the spirit of international friendship and cultural exchange, which is central to the ethos of the Tall Ships Races and Regattas.
Following the fleet’s departure, Sail Training International Race Chairman Einar Corwin said that the inaugural SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta visit to Vladivostok had been “hugely successful”.
“On behalf of the whole team at Sail Training International, I would like to express our deep gratitude to the organising team, the participating vessels and the huge team of hardworking volunteers who have made this visit such a resounding success.
“The crews taking part have proved that international friendships can transcend borders, politics and language barriers, and at a time when we face turbulent times on the global stage, they provide an inspiring model for international understanding and cooperation.
“I’d also like to thank our title sponsor, Sovcomflot, and the Tall Ships Association Russia, without whom this event would not have been possible. With their continued support and the solid foundation now firmly in place from this successful event to build upon, we look forward to returning to Vladivostok and the Far East region to help to further spread the ethos of international friendship and cultural exchange that is central to our mission.”
Einar Corwin, Sail Training International Race Chairman
At a special Prize Giving Ceremony at the Eastern Economic Forum on Wednesday five global leaders presented awards to the vessels which took part in the 600-nm race from Yeosu in South Korea
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister of South Korea Lee Nak-yeon presented awards to regatta winners in various categories including the Captain Sergey Vorobyev of Nadezhda (Russia) whose team won first place in Class A for the largest vessels.
Alexey Babkin, 20, a cadet on Nadezhda (Russia) said it had been a “huge and great experience” to meet people from so many different cultures during the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta. He said his crew exchanged badges with crew members from the Indonesian vessel Bima Suci in Yeosu which they wore with pride at the Crew Parade on Wednesday.
“It’s like a big melting pot with all different ages and cultures. It makes you see a wider view of the world.”
Alexey Babkin, cadet on Nadezhda (Russia)
It is not only the young people sailing on board the diverse vessels who have forged international friendships during the visit to Vladivostok. The large team of volunteer Liaison Officers from the Maritime State University, who have worked tirelessly to look after each of the participating vessels, have also embraced the spirit of international exchange and friendship.
Alexei Trofimov, 19, student at Maritime State University was selected as a Liaison Officer for Koreana (South Korea) due his English and Korean language skills.
“It’s been a really amazing experience and a great way to practice my English and Korean. I now have a lot of international friends and the highlight for me was being asked to translate on the stage at the Crew Party – that is something I will never forget in my whole life.”
Alexei Trofimov, Liaison Officer for Koreana
Dwi Nita Lestari, 20, a cadet from Bogor in Indonesia on Bima Suci, said that she was the first in her family to travel abroad and since joining the vessel at the start of August she has visited China, South Korea and Russia.
“It is my first time abroad and I now know three different cultures. My parents are very proud as they have never travelled overseas. It’s very exciting to meet people from different parts of the world.”
Dwi Nita Lestari, cadet on Bima Suci
On the eve of the fleet’s departure a traditional Japanese tea ceremony was held on board Ami (Japan), one of two Japanese vessels taking part in the event, and the whole fleet was open to visitors to give people an insight into life on board the vessels of varied shapes and sizes.
Sail Training International Race Chairman Einar Corwin presented the crew of Bima Suci (Indonesia) with the Friendship Trophy at a special ceremony on the vessel on Thursday. This trophy, widely regarded as the most sought-after award in the Tall Ships Races and Regattas, is presented to the crew that best demonstrates the ethos of international friendship and cultural exchange.
Bima Suci was announced as the winner of the Friendship Trophy at the Prize Giving Ceremony on Wednesday, making it an extra special day for the crew as it was also the day when the Indonesian ship celebrated her first birthday. The 111-metre (364-ft) vessel was handed over to the Indonesian Navy in Vigo, Spain on 12 September 2017 and this is her first Tall Ships event.
ABOUT THE SCF FAR EAST TALL SHIPS REGATTA
The two-port Regatta takes place between Yeosu, South Korea (27 August – 1 September), and Vladivostok, Russia (9-14 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), a meeting place for leaders from the region.
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.