Russian Naval Training Yacht Visits Gosport

Russian Naval Training Yacht Visits Gosport

Russian naval training yacht that was gifted to their sailing academy by the Royal Navy in 2003 has sailed back into Gosport to visit her old home.

Crewed by 12 Russian sea cadets aged between 16 and 17 years old together with four adult instructors and commanded by Captain Aleksander Shpakov, the yacht Adventure sailed today after spending five days at the Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre (JSASTC).

She had arrived last week following her participation in the Tall Ships Race calling at Helsinki, Riga and Poland, and finishing in 13th place out of 31 vessels. As part of her programme she called in to Gosport and spent several days sightseeing before leaving to go back to St Petersburg.

Second Mate Aleksei Keval, 23, said Adventure, which boasts all the modern amenities including a flat screen television and coffee machine, had recently undergone a major refit.

“We were in refit from October to May, and now have a new navigation system, more space for sleeping quarters and have had the interior fitted with mahogany wood,” he said. “The Tall Ships race was her maiden voyage following the refit and was a really good experience for the crew.

“We use the yacht for training the Russian Cadets of the Russian Navy and this is the first time that most of them will have come to the UK.”

Adventure, which was named by the Royal Navy when she was built for the Ministry of Defence in 1972, is a Nicholson 55 and was used for adventurous training for the military and round the world yacht races.

She came to the end of her economic life in 2002 but was rescued by the Royal Navy and gifted to the Russian Naval Academy by a former British Naval Attaché in Moscow – and now an Admiral – Simon Lister – a year later.

Now based in St Petersburg she has undergone several refits and is the main yacht used to teach Russian cadets how to sail and work as part of a team.

16-year-old cadet Akhmadullin Timur of Kazan has been a cadet for four years and is one of the youngest on board.

He said: “The yacht is very fast, I enjoyed the Tall Ships race and it is a really good crew on board. I love sailing and being at sea – it is a lot of fun and it is my life dream to join the Russian Navy one day.”

Press Release, August 21, 2013; Image: Royal Navy