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ST. PETERSBURG, March 04, /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s sailing ship Sedov on Tuesday sailed off from the port of St. Petersburg on a three-month training voyage.
In mid-April, she will be the flagship of a sailing festival in France’s Sete. In May, the Sedov will take part in the Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta-2014. She will compete with 50 more sailing ships from France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Her rivals will also be three other Russian tall ships - the Mir, the Kuzenshtern, and the Nadezhda.
The Sedov barque, originally named the Magdalene Vinnen II, was launched in Kiel in 1921 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniwrft. She was used as a cargo ship voyaging from Europe to South America, Australia, South East Asia and Oceania. In 1936, the Magdalene Vinnen II was sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen and renamed the Kommodore Johnsen.
The new owner modified it to a cargo-carrying training ship, and apart from its permanent crew, the ship was to have 50 to 60 trainee officers aboard on each journey. She came under Russian state ownership after the surrender of Germany, on December 20, 1945, when the British handed over the ship to the Soviet Union as war reparation. In the Soviet Union, she was converted into a sail training vessel of the Soviet Navy. Renamed the Sedov after the Arctic explorer Georgy Sedov who died during an Arctic expedition in 1914.
Today, The Sedov is a sail training vessel, training cadets from the universities of Murmansk, St. Petersburg, and Arkhangelsk. She participates regularly in the big maritime international events as a privileged host and has also been a regular participant in The Tall Ships' Races.
The barque has been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest traditional sailing ship in operation. The 117.5-meter-long ship has sails of more than 4,000 square meters in area. She holds the official world sailing ship's speed record - 12.6 knots.