Happy Birthday to Mircea - a beautiful, 75-year old sail training lady

24 May 2014

Happy Birthday to Mircea - a beautiful, 75-year old sail training lady
A party with VIP guests, including the President of Romania, is exactly what a 75 year old would want on her birthday.

Romanian sail training ship Mircea celebrated her 75th birthday in style today in the Constanta, Romania – the final port of the SCF Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta 2014.  

Mircea is an A-class barque, with three masts and 23 sails with a total sail area of 1750 square meters. Forty-four meters high and 92.7 meters long, her home port is in Constanta.

Robin Snouck-Hurgronje, Race Chairman, Sail Training International said, "Mircea has a colourful history and has been an ambassador of the Romanian Navy Forces worldwide.  I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone who has had the pleasure of sailing on her over the years that she is and will continue to be a focus for trust and solidarity, and changing lives for the better.  She is a source of great pride to the country and always a very welcome participant in Tall Ships events."

Mircea background
She was built in Blohm ind Voss Shipyard, Hamburg, Germany and commissioned into the Romanian Royal Navy on 17 May 1939.  Her birth certificate is signed 26 January 1938 and on 22 September 1938 she was launched and baptised with the name Mircea.

Following an overhaul, concluded in 2002, Mircea is now one of the most modern ships of her class.
Mircea has four sister ships built in the same shipyard: Eagle (USA); Gorch Foch I (Germany), Tavarisch (Ukraine) and Sagres II (Portugal).

On 1 May 1939 Mircea entered the Military Navy Service.

Where does the name come from?
The name Mircea comes from the Vallachian ruler Mircea cel Batran (1386-1418).  He led the navigation and commercial activities of Romanian sailing vessels - not only in the Black Sea but in the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea

History highlights
In September 1944, Mircea, together with some other Romanian vessels, was captured by the Soviets and placed in their Black Sea Fleet.  It wasn't until two years later (27 May 1946) that a ceremony took place, in Constanta Harbour, to take her back from the Soviet crew and place her back in the Romanian Navy.  In 1963, the President of the USA, John F Kennedy, invited Mircea to visit American Harbours and to take part in a series of ceremonies.

Following the most difficult storm in its sailing history in 1965, (one of the most powerful registered in that area for 20 years) she underwent a massive refitting.  When it was complete the German navy register gave her the class Maltese Cross 100 A4E which enables her to sail without restrictions.

Over the years Mircea has been a regular participant in the Tall Ships Races.  In 2009, Mircea's 70th birthday, she visited the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean and took part in the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge and the Boston Sailing Festival.

A full history of Mircea can be found here 

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About Sail Training International (STI)
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. It organises the annual Tall Ships Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events. STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.

The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship. www.sailtraininginternational.org

What is sail training?
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.

For more information about the event visit Sail Training International 

Sovcomflot (SCF)
SCF is the lead sponsor of The SCF Black Sea Tall Ships Regatta, 30 April – 27 May 2014, and was previously sponsor of The Tall Ships Races 2009. Sovcomflot Group is Russia's largest shipping company and one of the world's leading energy transporters. 

Its mission is to be the leading international energy shipping company, offering a full range of seaborne energy solutions to its customers, based on advanced shipping technologies and innovations, achieving long-term sustainability of growth and profits through a socially responsible industrial shipping model.
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