The STS Sedov , formerly the Magdalene Vinnen II (1921–1936) and the Kommodore Johnsen (–1948), is a 4-masted steel barque
A barque, barc, or bark is a type of sailing vessel with three or more masts.- History of the term :The word barque appears to have come from the Greek word baris, a term for an Egyptian boat. This entered Latin as barca, which gave rise to the Italian barca, Spanish barco, and the French barge and...
that for almost 80 years was the largest traditional sailing ship
The term sailing ship is now used to refer to any large wind-powered vessel. In technical terms, a ship was a sailing vessel with a specific rig of at least three masts, square rigged on all of them, making the sailing adjective redundant. In popular usage "ship" became associated with all large...
in operation. Originally built as a German cargo ship, the Sedov is today a sail training vessel, training cadets from the universities of Murmansk
Murmansk is a city and the administrative center of Murmansk Oblast, Russia. It serves as a seaport and is located in the extreme northwest part of Russia, on the Kola Bay, from the Barents Sea on the northern shore of the Kola Peninsula, not far from Russia's borders with Norway and Finland...
, Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...
Arkhangelsk , formerly known as Archangel in English, is a city and the administrative center of Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. It lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the north of European Russia. The city spreads for over along the banks of the river...
. She participates regularly in the big maritime international events as a privileged host and has also been a regular participant in the The Tall Ships' Races
The Tall Ships' Races
The Tall Ships' Races are races for sail training "tall ships" . The races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing. The races are held annually in European waters and consists of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles, and a...
Magdalene Vinnen IIThe Sedov, originally named the Magdalene Vinnen II, was launched in Kiel in 1921 at the Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft
Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft
Friedrich Krupp Germaniawerft was a German shipbuilding company, located in the harbour at Kiel, and one of the largest and most important builders of U-boats for the Kaiserliche Marine in World War I and the Kriegsmarine in World War II.-History:The company was founded in 1867 by Lloyd Foster, as...
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
, for the shipping company F. A. Vinnen & Co. of Bremen, one of the largest German shipping companies at the beginning of the 20th century. The shipping company initially objected to have an engine installed in the ship, but the ship yard (with backing from a Government committee) successfully argued for an engine, making the ship the first sailing ship with auxiliary engine designed to modern principles.
The Magdalene Vinnen II was at the time the world’s largest auxiliary barque and exclusively used as a cargo ship with a crew that was partially made up of cadets. She sailed on her maiden voyage on September 1, 1921. Her voyage took her from Bremen via Cardiff, where she took on coal, to Buenos Aires. Despite bad weather, the journey from England to Argentina with holds full of coal took just 30 days. The Magdalene Vinnen II carried all sorts of cargo: apart from coal, she took timber from Finland, wheat from Australia, pyrite from Italy and unit load from Belgium. The four-masted barque made two voyages around Cape Horn
Cape Horn is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island...
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...
. Until her last voyage under the Vinnen flag in 1936, the ship sailed to Argentina, South Africa, Australia, Reunion and the Seychelles.
Kommodore JohnsenOn August 9, 1936, the Magdalene Vinnen II was sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen and renamed the Kommodore Johnsen. The new owner modified her to a cargo-carrying training ship. More accommodation was provided, as the ship, apart from her permanent crew, was to have a complement of 50 to 60 trainee officers on each journey.
SedovShe came under Russian state ownership after the surrender of Germany — on December 20, 1945, the British handed over the ship to the Soviet Union as war reparation. In the Soviet Union, she was converted into a sail training vessel of the Soviet Navy. Renamed the Sedov after the Arctic explorer Georgy Sedov
Georgy Yakovlevich Sedov was a Russian Arctic explorer.Born in the village of Krivaya Kosa of Taganrog district in a fisherman's family. In 1898, Sedov finished navigation courses in Rostov-on-Don and acquired the rank of long voyage navigator...
who died during an investigation in the Arctic
The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...
in 1914, she was used as a training ship of the Navy from 1952 to 1957. She made several friendly visits to South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...
during this period. From 1957 to 1966 she was used as an oceanographic research ship in the North Atlantic. During these voyages, the Soviet Navy also used her for training of young cadets. In 1966 when she was transferred to the reserve in Kronstadt
Kronstadt , also spelled Kronshtadt, Cronstadt |crown]]" and Stadt for "city"); is a municipal town in Kronshtadtsky District of the federal city of St. Petersburg, Russia, located on Kotlin Island, west of Saint Petersburg proper near the head of the Gulf of Finland. Population: It is also...
, formally under the civil ownership of the Ministry of Fisheries. In the 1970s, she was only infrequently used as a training ship, sailing in the Gulf of Finland.
In 1981, the Sedov reappeared after renovation which had new features added such as a glass-domed banquet hall with a stage and a movie theater. She was now based at the Baltic Division of Training Ships in Riga
Riga is the capital and largest city of Latvia. With 702,891 inhabitants Riga is the largest city of the Baltic states, one of the largest cities in Northern Europe and home to more than one third of Latvia's population. The city is an important seaport and a major industrial, commercial,...
. She embarked cadets from schools of navigation of Kaliningrad
Kaliningrad is a seaport and the administrative center of Kaliningrad Oblast, the Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea...
and Murmansk. After the declaration of independence
On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia
The Declaration "On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia" was adopted on 4 May 1990, by the Supreme Soviet of the Latvian SSR...
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...
in 1991, she left Riga for Murmansk, transferred to the Murmansk naval school with the city of Murmansk ensuring her management and maintenance.
Sedov has regularly been targeted by unpaid creditors of the Russian Federation such as Nissim Gaon (of now defunct Swiss group NOGA
The word Noga may be used to describe:* A name** Given name of Jewish females or rarely males, meaning brightness, glow; also used in Hebrew to refer to planet Venus .** Surname of Slavic nations and Polynesian nations...
, an anagram of Gaon) and also by French holders of defaulted Russian bonds; in 2002 Sedov was forced to precipitously and unexpectedly leave Marseilles in the dead of night to avoid being served a writ by AFPER (French association of holders of Russian Empire bonds) the following morning.
For over a year French holders of defaulted Russian bonds have been warning they were going to reorganize and export their claim to Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions, more friendly to private citizens than the French.
In May 2008, in the wake of British-Russian tension, Sedov was instructed by Moscow not to dock as planned at Southend on Sea. The September 2008 visit to Falmouth
Falmouth is a town, civil parish and port on the River Fal on the south coast of Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It has a total resident population of 21,635.Falmouth is the terminus of the A39, which begins some 200 miles away in Bath, Somerset....
, the starting point of FUNCHAL 500 race to Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...
, also seems to be in jeopardy.