The main stage of Rosrybolovstvo's round-the-world expedition of training sailing vessels has started

In Kaliningrad on December 7, solemn departure ceremony of the training sailing vessels Sedov and Kruzenshtern was held. The round-the-world expedition is dedicated to the 200th anniversary of discovery of Antarctica by Russian seafarers and the 75th anniversary of the Victory over fascism.
The solemn event was attended by Deputy Minister of agriculture of Russia – Head of the Federal Agency for Fisheries Mr. Ilya Shestakov, Governor of the Kaliningrad region Mr. Anton Alikhanov, Chief Federal inspector of the Kaliningrad region Mr. Sergey Eliseev, member of the Board, Deputy Chairman of the Board of JSC "Rosselkhozbank" Mr. Alexey Zhdanov, rector of the Kaliningrad State Technical University Mr. Vladimir Volkogon, representatives of the Russian Geographical Society, the Olympic Committee, veterans of the fishing industry and of the Great Patriotic war, residents and guests of the city.

"I am glad to be here and I am proud to participate in the departure ceremony. Our third sailing vessel Pallada put to sea earlier-on November 1 from Vladivostok to join the Sedov and Kruzenshtern in the South Atlantic, at the closest point to Antarctica", said Ilya Shestakov. In his opening speech Ilya Shestakov also noted that the expedition could be called a full-scale one as all the three ships would be sailing from then on.

The head of the Agency added that the expedition could be called a unique project due to mileage of the voyages – it is more than 96 thousand miles or (about 4 lengths of the Equator) and the significance of the historical dates it was dedicated to (200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian seafarers and to the 75th anniversary of the Victory over fascism). By order of the Government of the Russian Federation dated March 16, 2019, the round-the-world expedition received the status of an official state event.

"Having left your home port remember your mission: you are under the "Sails of Peace": it means that you are carriers universal values, your task is to remind the world of great events of the Russian history, traditions of the Russian seafarers, fearlessness and discoveries, feats and heroism. Remember that you embody our state and the future of the Russian fleet. So, carry through the seas and countries the flag of Russia, the banner of Victory and the symbol of Rosrybolovstvo! And when you return to your native shores I hope to see true seafarers," said Ilya Shestakov. He wished the crews fair seas and a following wind.

The Sedov and the Pallada will carry out the circumnavigation, while the Kruzenshtern will take up a transatlantic crossing. The vessels will call at more than 40 ports in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. During this time, about 600 cadets of educational institutions of Rosrybolovstvo, the Ministry of transport and foreign universities will undergo sea practice. The Pallada has already sailed almost 5,000 miles and today she is to call at the first port located in the Southern hemisphere – Apia.

At Kruzenshtern/Sedov's departure ceremony, the head of the organizational department of the Russian Olympic Committee Mr. Igor Stepanov and Olympic Champion, Russian skier Mr. Alexander Legkov handed the flag of the Committee to Sedov's cadet Daniil Soldatenko, candidate for master of sports in sambo and judo.

The Chairman of the Kaliningrad regional branch of the Russian Geographical society solemnly handed the flag of the organization to the Master of the Sedov Mr. Evgeny Romashkin. The President of the Organization of support and development of the State historical Museum, the head of the National chamber of arts Mr. Alexey Bondarev handed over to the Master of the Kruzenshtern Mr Mikhail Eremchenko the Banner of the Great Victory and the Banner of the Immortal regiment.

Representatives of the Kaliningrad eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church held parting prayers on both barques. After the service, the guests looked at the photo exhibition on the Sedov.

The Sedov will sail for 371 days, Krusenstern and Pallada -- for 272 and 222 days respectively, and they will call at more than 40 ports in Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. During this time, about 600 cadets of educational institutions of Rosrybolovstvo, the Ministry of transport and guys from foreign universities will undergo sea practice. There will be various events dedicated to the memory of Russian seafarers and explorers of the world ocean, as well as visits to military memorials and must-see places of the Second World War in ports of call

Manoeuvring of all three sailing vessels in February 2020 in the closest to the Antarctic point of the Atlantic - off South Georgian islands' coast on the passage between the ports of Ushuaia (Argentina) and Cape town (South Africa) is going to be a culmination of the expedition. By the way, the Pallada will approach Antarctica as close as possible. A 200-mile sailing regatta is planned in this area, it will be joined by other sailing vessels and yachts. The initiative group of Russian seafarers under the leadership of the centre "Marine practice" (long-standing partner of the sailing vessels on educational activities) is going to complete the mission. They will reach the Antarctic Bellingshausen station and deliver the pennant of polar circumnavigation of the Agency.

After the regatta there will be the second stage of the circumnavigation dedicated to the Victory over fascism.

During the round-the-world sailing expedition, it is planned to make photo exhibitions dedicated to memorable dates of Russian history. There are also going to be meetings with representatives of the foreign public and compatriots living abroad.

In addition, the ports will host major international events: scientific and educational meeting of rectors of fisheries and marine universities, as well as a scientific and practical conferences of industry scientists and academics.

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