Sails of the Spirit: Saint Petersburg – Paris, July – August 2016


LOVER, a sailing catamaran, starts from Saint Petersburg and is going to be in the French town of Honfleur by the end of August. The distance is approximately 3000 sea miles covering more than 9 countries. The crew will be inclusive, i.e. it will consist of people with and without disabilities (we prefer to say “people of ALL abilities”) from different regions of Russia and other countries of the world.

Sails of the Spirit is an international sailing initiative founded by people with visual disabilities from Russia. Its purpose is to develop international inclusive cooperation and to create opportunities for people of all abilities to take part in yachting activities. The project started in 2011 and since then its inclusive teams have made 12 preparatory stages and visited the Andaman, North, Caribbean, Baltic, Mediterranean, Black Seas and Lake Baikal.

Colorful presentations of the project and the First World Congress of People with Special Needs that is taking place in Yekaterinburg in 2017 will be organized in Saint Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Liepaja, Klaipeda, Gdansk, Hamburg, Brussels, Paris and many other cities and towns along the way. Together with the presentations, the team is going to have meetings with youth organizations, Russian language communities, sportsmen, prominent representatives of local authorities and society.

Uldis MeЕѕulis and other members of the Latvian yacht-club “Auda” are going to control and train the team during the expedition. Yachtsmen of the “Auda” are winners of many international regattas. The idea of the Sails of the Spirit project belongs to Oleg Kolpashchikov from Russia, who is in charge of the humanitarian program of the expedition.

Among other members of the team are Yevgenia Malyshko and Sergey Parakhin, experts on inclusive education and social rehabilitation from Moscow and Marc Aufrant, the vice-president of the Valentin HaГјy Association, Paris.

Everyone who wants to take part in the project is welcome! You can join an event or the expedition. We are waiting for creative people, media, representatives of social and youth organizations – people of ALL abilities.

The trip consists of 7 parts (weeks). Everyone can join the inclusive team to cover several hundred miles on the yacht that will visit a different port every day. During stopovers, you are free to ride a bicycle, visit a presentation or plunge into the atmosphere of authentic places of big and small European cities. Going on a trip with an inclusive team, you are bound to make a lot of friends who enjoy their colorful lives. You will gain sailing skills and mates, interactions with whom will help you develop talents. The most active and positive holiday is waiting for you!

Detailed information about the Sails of the Spirit project can be found here: