The Russian yacht Akela
arrived in Genoa today in preparation for the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta, having spent the winter in the Canary Islands. The yacht is owned by the University for Waterway Communications in St Petersburg and is a regular competitor in Tall Ships races.
The captain, Alexey Chegurov, said that they were very keen on taking part in all the races and festivals being held this year so had to winter in the Canary Islands because St Petersburg is currently locked in ice. "We had to leave St Petersburg before the winter started and keep Akela in the Canaries so that we could get down to Italy in time," said Alexey. "It was useful to be able to do the maintenance work necessary at the beginning of March in the Canaries!" En route from the Canaries to Genoa the crew stopped at Cadiz, Barcelona and a few places in France, enjoying the relative warmth of the Mediterranean compared to what they are used to in Russia at this time of year.
The crew of ten, seven male and three female, are all looking forward to the race to Trapani and fully intend to win their class. They will then change crew for the voyage to Volos and then again for the Historical Seas Tall Ships Regatta when the balance will change in favour of the women, as there will then be seven women and four men.
All the vessels taking part in the Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta are due in port today by noon.
The Garibaldi Tall Ships Regatta is organised by Sail Training International.