A group of Russian yachtsmen expressed their anti-war protest
The trans-Atlantic voyage entitled "Russia for Peace" was launched on the island of Barbados on March 27th, 2003. The Scarlet Sails boat follows the route Barbados – Jamaica – Bermuda Islands – Bristol. The crew of the boat counts nine Russian men (eight of them are non-professional yachtsmen) among other foreign crewmembers, all of them stand against the war in the Middle East. The tour is meant to express Russia's protest against the war and to set a world record on the route Barbados – Bristol.
The live television connection between Moscow and Barbados took place in the Moscow entertainment center Metelitsa before the voyage started. Vyacheslav Leibman, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Conservator, the official partner of the trans-Atlantic voyage, hosted the broadcast on the island.
What was the origin of the idea to devote the voyage to "Russia for Peace" action?
The events, which happen in the world today, can not but trouble us. This action is not a struggle for peace, it is an expression of our position. The war is on, and we can not remain indifferent to everything that happens in the world. With this action we want to say that we stand for peace. We hope that a lot of citizens support this conscious and explicit position. Foreign members of the crew support us as well. A war is a universal trouble for everyone, and I doubt that there is someone in the world, who would like to suffer from it.
What was the principle to select your crewmembers?
We picked out the people, who are ready for tough and serious experience, who would like to leave a trace in history. Our motto is "Russia for Peace," so all people that we have here are like-minded people on this principle. All of them do their own businesses in their lives, although the voyage and the ship made them come together.
"Russia for Peace" is a public action. What does this voyage mean for every crewmember?
It is a wonderful adventure for us, an interesting voyage, it is sailing sport, the spiritual development.
You will arrive in Bristol with this motto "Russia for Peace," although England is an aggressor. Don’t you think that British people might not give you a hearty welcome over there?
British people are the same people as we are. We think that they do not need this war either. That is why, we do not think that they will not be hospitable.
Don't you think that the idea to set a world record with the help of an unprofessional crew discredits the notion of a record?
We are certain that professionalism is not the main thing in such kind of things. One has to be fond of the sea, of the sailing sport, which does not mean that one has to be a professional for that. Love for the ocean, passion for romantic adventures is much more important in this respect. All these people have these qualities, so I believe in our success.
Your crew is international. What flag is there on your ship?
We have the Russian flag, although the ship is owned by a British national, so we have the British flag too.
Will other ships accompany you in the voyage, or will you only use radio communication means?
There will be no other ships. We will have the connection with the land, so we will inform you of all our news.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov