The “Serpent Island Cup”, Black Sea’s regatta near the Danube delta, took place in Odessa.
In Odessa, sailing races to the Serpent Island (also called Snake Island) close to Romanian border, were revived after fourteen years: the yachts were excorted by a patrol boat of the Ukrainian Navy along their 150 nautical miles itinerary.
15 Odessa crews took part in this 150 nautical mile race. The competitions were held under the patronage of the Odessa Regional State Administration with the support of the Commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine.
The ceremony of rewarding of the winners of the "Serpent Island Cup" regatta took place on Sunday, the 30th of August, at the Black Sea Yacht Club.
In 2012 and 2013, we organized races to the shores of Turkey and Georgia and interacted with the naval forces of these two countries. Then I was surprised with what care, with what respect and attention the Turkish and Georgian military treated our yachtsmen. And now, after seven years, I can finally say with joy and pride: I got tremendous pleasure from working together with the Naval Forces of Ukraine.Sergey Dibrov, a member of the Magellan 500 organising committee of the regatta
The winners of the regatta were the yachts Antares (captain Igor Kalinin), Blues (captain Alexey Bosenko), and Angel (captain Oleg Bazhenov). The best time was shown by the yacht "Buyan" (captain Albert Kabakov): it took her a little more than 24 hours to overcome the route.
In addition to diplomas and commemorative medals, the "Buyan" crew received another, completely unexpected prize. The captain of "Ajuga" Valentin Klimentyev, winner of the previous last editions of the same race, in 2004 and 2006 (the yacht “Taurus” won in 2005), came to the award ceremony with his challenge cup, on which the names of the winning yachts of these three races are engraved. The name of "Buyan" winner of 2020 regatta will be soon engraved alongside.
I received it from the hands of the famous captain Nikolai Mikheev and kept it for 14 years. All these fourteen years there was no race. Now the tradition has been restored, and I am pleased to present this cup to the new winner - the Buyan yacht and its captain Albert Kabakov!Valentin Klimentyev, captain of "Ajuga"
It seems that now we will have to continue the tradition and continue racing along this route. As for the transitions to longer distances, the Odessa athletes have a desire, and the main issue now is safety. This year, for example, the regatta to Georgia was prevented by the coronavirus pandemic.
This race is a long-awaited breakthrough beyond our coastal waters. - This is our sea, we must be present in it. And if this requires the support of the Naval Forces of Ukraine and allies, then it will be so. Another important result for me is that I see how the relationship between sailing fans and the Naval Forces command is getting stronger. For example, today it was preliminary agreed that lyceum students and cadets of the Institute of the Navy will receive skills at the technical base of the sailing school "Katran" in the Black Sea Yacht Club. There are other interesting ideas, for example, to create groups for children of military sailors in the regional sports school for sailing. That's why I love such events - this is a unique opportunity to embody the most incredible plans and ideas.Aleksandr Syvak, member of the Magellan 500 organising committee
As for the safety of navigation, the commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine, Rear Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa, promised, if necessary, to personally contact his colleagues from Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey and to agree on escorting the participants in the competition when passing along the shores of these Black Sea countries.
One of the main tasks of the Naval Forces Alexey Neizhpapa considers ensuring the safety of navigation. Therefore, in order to protect the participants of the competition from any surprises, the Ukrainian Navy has allocated a patrol boat "Starobelsk" (American project "Island") to escort the yachts. The commander of this boat is Pavel Gladchenko, who in 2014 remained faithful to the oath and, together with other cadets of the Ukrainian Navy Academy, left the occupied Sevastopol. Another escort was the "Sapphire" boat of the Marine Search and Rescue Service.
The commander of the Naval Forces of Ukraine recalled that, on August 29, when the athletes walked the distance at sea, it was the Day of Remembrance of the defenders who gave their lives for Ukraine, and offered to honour their memory with a minute of silence.
Director of the Department of Physical Education and Sports of the Regional State Administration Valentina Kolchak drew attention to the gender parity among the participants in the competition. Captain Alexander Berber shared the main secret of success: "A woman on board is for luck!"