Kazakhstan and Russian ships take off in Balkhash sailing regatta 09 мая 2013, 13:26
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Photo courtesy of vesti.kz
The 8th International Tourist Sailing Regatta Balkhash Cup kicked off on May 2 in Kazakhstan, Tengrinews.kz reports, referring to Oleg Paramonov, participant of the race and anchorman of STV Channel Unknown Kazakhstan TV show.
Eight crews from Kazakhstan and 11 crews from Russia started the race from Kazakhstan’s city of Priozersk. They will have to cover more than 300 kilometers in eight days. The route was divided into seven stages, 30-60-kilometer long each. The participants will finish the race in Priozersk.
“The special feature of this regatta is that participants are sailing on portable boats that can be dismounted and delivered to any water reservoir where participants put their boats back together and start on a stage of the race. Some boats are big and can carry up to ten people. Russian crew from Omsk is sailing a big boat named Corsair.
"I’d compare this race with Paris-Dakar rally. Participants start at 10:00 a.m. from the coast-line. Then they sail down the river to the finish line. They set a camp there and stay at the site overnight. Participants prepare their boats for the next day and kick off in the morning again. Time of all the stages is summed up to define the winning crew,” Paramonov said.
STV Channel reporter is sailing a catamaran called Natalie along with his crew. The total area of the catamaran is 17 square meters. According to Paramonov, there are no dangerous stages along the route. However, the participants should be aware of storms that are frequent at the lake. “Balkhash is famous for its storms and 1.5-2-meter high waves, although all the boats are well equipped and prepared for such storms. Honestly speaking, calm sea is far worse for sailing. It is so difficult to weather the calm! Doing noting drives you wild. But is a crew is good, there is always a chance to have fun and relieve the monotony of the calm. On the contrary storms feel like extreme and it is our element,” Paramonov said.
There is another sailing race taking place in Kazakhstan now: Ile-Balkhash Sailing Regatta. Sailors started from Chinese-Kazakhstan border on different ships in the end of April. They will be sailing along the Ili River for one month and finish at Lake Balkhash.
By Vladimir Prokopenko