All eyes were on the Russian port of Vladivostok last week as world leaders took to the stage at the Eastern Economic Forum and the SCF Far East Tall Ships Regatta.
Russian shipowner Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is the main sponsor of the regatta, which was held in the city for the first time. It did not disappoint both in colour and spectacle, boasting an unprecedented line up of heads of state from China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and Mongolia on hand to present the prizes.
The crew of Indonesia’s tall ship Bima Suci won the regatta's most prestigious award, the Prize of Friendship, which recognises a considerable contribution to the development of international cooperation and mutual understanding.
Igor Tonkovidov, Sovcomflot's executive vice president and chief operating and technical officer, also presented the ship’s captain with a special gift to celebrate the vessel’s first birthday.
The Russian ship Nadezhda came first overall in the Class A category of the race from Yeosu in South Korea to Vladivostok. Vessel’s master Sergey Vorobiev was presented with the prize for the win by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Organised by Sail Training International and the Association of Training Sailing Vessels of Russia, the event, by tradition, is held under Putin's patronage. It culminated with a Parade of Sail along Amur Bay as all the ships hoisted their sails and flags.
Sovcomflot has supported Sail Training International for many years. This year's regatta was also sponsored by Japanese shipowner NYK Line and South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries.
The Russian company said that as a shipping outfit it needs to attract a continuous flow of quality and well-trained young people to manage the increasingly complicated vessels of tomorrow.
“Sponsorship of the regatta does much to promote the concept of a career at sea whilst also reinforcing the strong Russian maritime traditions,” Sovcomflot said. “This is especially helpful in recruiting the right calibre of seafarer into the industry.”