by Cailah Leask
For the second year in a row, the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg (SPBYC) will welcome a fleet of stunning Classic Yachts to the historic and former capital city of Russia for Classic Yacht Week 2013.
Saint-Petersburg will host the splendour of classics - 2013 Classic Week, Saint Petersburg
Saint-Petersburg Classic Yacht Week forms part of the Baltic Classic Circuit which consists of three major regattas for classic boats on the Baltic; the Stockholm, Saint-Petersburg and Helsinki Classic Weeks. This Circuit connects the three Baltic cities and aims at establishing cultural and professional relationships as well as uniting the classic yacht community.
The event consists of a regatta and festival and will run from the 23rd to the 29th July. The festivities will begin on Wednesday 24th with an opening ceremony followed by the first races of the week. Classic Yachts entered this year include last years’ overall champion Nika, a Russian National Class L6 and Nina, the Russian Compromise Centreboard boat. Nina is the oldest boat entered; built in 1898, she is over a century old and finished top in the antique vessel class in 2012.
Joining them is Mirame, a gaff-rigged yacht who was built in 1910 and is crafted with a beautiful mahogany hull. Such a diverse group of boats is sure to create not only a spectacular but also unmissable sight in the city, drawing in many admirers of classic yachts.
Regatta Director Elena Soloveva believes that 'visitor numbers for 2013 are estimated at 20,000 and the event will offer an excellent opportunity for young people in Saint-Petersburg to touch upon marine culture, the spirit of travel and the beauty of antique vessels.' With Classic Week running simultaneously to the Optimists of the Northern Capital – The 2013 Gazprom Cup there will be a number of young sailors in Saint Petersburg who will benefit greatly from the regatta and festival.
After the event on the 25th the classic yachts partake in a night-time passage on Friday 26th; this will take them from the Yacht Harbour Hercules and through the St.Petersburg draw bridges into the Neva River, before finally anchoring on the roadstead of the iconic Peter and Paul Fortress.
Yachts will remain at the Fortress; also home to the grave of the famed founder of Saint Petersburg City, Peter the Great, who also established the first Russian Navy in 1696; whilst the owners, their friends and families, citizens and tourists alike enjoy the classic vessel festival. This year the two day festival is to include exhibitions, seminars, trade fairs and competitions, with plenty to see and do for all age groups whilst they make the most of the current Russian White Nights. The event will finally conclude with an award ceremony on the Saturday and a ‘wild sailor’ party on the Sunday.
Bringing the classic yachts back to Russia this year, will once again reignite the country’s strong history of seafaring, with individuals discovering extensive Russian national charted waters as well as adventurers seeking out new territories across the treacherous Antarctica and Pacific Ocean. Names including Dezhnev, Bellingshausen, Krusenstern and Lazarev were at the initial birth of seafaring within Russian culture.
For this one special week, the waters of Saint Petersburg will be alive with maritime history as the classic yachts are presented in all their glory.
Classic Week website