by Emma Upton
The Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, Russia has triumphantly overseen the second Classic Yacht Week Russia; bringing maritime heritage back to the shores of the historic city.
2013 Classic Yacht Week fleet
Over the course of five days, classic entries enjoyed both sailing and an onshore social programme, organised by the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg. The event began with two days of sailing races in the Gulf of Finland, a spectacular sight for onshore watchers.
They weren't all keel boats though, there were Dinghies and Compromises, also Dragons showing what they could do.
Vladimir Liubomirov, Commodore of the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg and newly crowned Gazprom Swan 60 World Champion was delighted to have hosted the Classic Yacht Week for a second year: 'We were very excited to have these historically significant yachts entered into the event this year. It is such a privilege for us and allows us all to enjoy our marine history. Some of these beautiful yachts were built in the late 1800s and to actually see them restored and afloat, actively sailing and racing is wonderful. We hope the number of Russian and foreign participants will grow from year to year and classic yachting will in the right way draw the attention of our citizens.'
After a day of gentle racing, in the evening of Friday 26th, the classic yachts departed from the Hercules Yacht Harbour and undertook a night-time passage along the Neva River. The flotilla began their journey at 23:00 and navigated some of the 340 iconic draw bridges that Saint-Petersburg is famous for. The huge architectural design diversity offered a unique regatta experience for the owners and crews.
The fleet finally anchored on the roadstead of the iconic Peter and Paul Fortress, home to the grave of the famed founder of Saint-Petersburg City, Peter the Great, who also established the first Russian Navy in 1696. The yachts remained moored here whilst the owners, their friends and families, citizens and tourists alike enjoyed the classic vessel festival.
This year the two day festival included exhibitions, seminars, trade fairs and competitions, with plenty to see and do for all age groups. The Russian White Nights also provided plenty of opportunity for outdoor celebrations and festivities.
The week concluded in style with the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg hosting a wild sailor’s party at the Hercules Yacht Harbour. Sailors enjoyed entertainment from a DJ, shanti singing, a pool full of punch, fabulous food and a variety of games. The final social event rounded off the week and also included a presentation of classic motifs for the participants of the XVII Saint-Petersburg Great Sailing Week.
Plans are already in place for next year’s Classic Yacht Week, with many owners already sharing their excitement to return to the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg during 2014. The Yacht Club has connections to a wealth of sailing history and is the perfect venue for classic yachts of the world to congregate annually.