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BREST/Western France/, July 15 (Itar-Tass) —— The crew of the Russian Sedov sailing ship on Sunday took over the torch of Universiade-2013. The ceremony was held at the French port of Brest, where the barque called at to participate in an international maritime festival.
On July 19, the Sedov will sail off for a year-long round-the-globe voyage. On board the Sedov, the Universiade’s torch will make a travel more than 45,000 nautical miles (about 83,000 kilometres) along the routes of greatest navigators. She will call at 36 sea ports in will hand over the Universiade torch at the German port of Bremerhaven next summer. After the voyage, the relay will end on July 6, 2013 in Kazan, the host of the 27th World Student Games.
Russian ambassador to France Alexander Orlov took part in the torch-handover ceremony. Apart from that, he took part in the official opening of the Russian village at the maritime festival in Brest. Along with the Sedov, two more Russian ships, the Krusenstern barque and the Kaliningrad assault landing ship are taking part in the colourful event in the most western port of mainland France.
Last time the Sedov called at the Brest port twelve years ago, it was arrested under a scandalous claim from the Swiss company Noga. “This time, the French authorities offered their guarantees that nothing of the kind would happen, so our stay in Brest proceeds as scheduled,” the ship’s captain, Nikolai Zorchenko, told Itar-Tass. In his words, it is “a very honorary mission to carry the Universiade torch arounf the globe.”
The Russian ship’s visit to Brest caused genuine interest from the French public. Representatives of the officer corps told Itar-Tass that on the National Day of France, July 14, more than 5,000 guests visited the Kaliningrad ship. "The public was very friendly," Roman Samarkin, a mariner from the Kaliningrad, told Itar-Tass. For him, like for many officers of the ship's crew, this was the first visit to Brest.
Since leaving the home port in late May, the Kaliningrad also called at the ports of Gdynia (Poland), Kiel (Germany) and took part in the international Baltops exercise. After the festival in Brest, the ship will head for Baltiysk.
The International Maritime Festival at the main port of Brittany celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2012. The festival has drawn a range of ships representing all continents and epochs. Modern high-speed boats are side by side with caravels and frigates recreated according to old drawings – they tell stories of legendary admirals of the 18th century, such as the British sailing ship Star King or Sweden’s Gothenburg.