The frigate Shtandart, which is an exact replica of an 18th century warship that was designed by Peter the Great himself is to set sail today, June 5.
According to the municipal administration's press center, the frigate will sail the Baltic and North Seas, calling at 17 European ports.
The frigate would also be expected to participate in several regattas. The Shtandart crew has already received nine invitations from sea-festival organizers. Among other things, the Shtandart has been invited to take part in the Brest sailing-ship festival, which is the largest in the world, and the Cutty Sark regatta. (The Cutty Sark, which was the last of the great China clippers, is moored in Greenwich near London)
The Shtandart will engage in mock battle with Australia's Endeavour sailing ship, which is an exact replica of famous British seafarer James Cook's coaler, in Hartlepool, England. James Cook sailed the Endeavour in 1768-1771, discovering New Zealand and mapping the eastern Australian coast, as well.
The crew was selected in line with an open contest for the first time this year, press center people reminded. That contest involved nearly 300 St. Petersburg residents, 70 of whom passed the test with flying colors. Most of them have never put to sea before. The boys worked for three consecutive months aboard the frigate, learning the art of navigation, also handling sails and ropes; they received medical training, as well.
They started building the Shtandart in 1994 at the initiative of Russian ship-builder Vladimir Martus. The frigate, which was christened in May 1998, has participated in numerous voyages and regattas since then.
On January 15, it was reported that the Russian government began to develop sanctions against several officials at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)