Building of a present city REGISTRY OFFICE (yachts - club)

It is hard enough to give a definite interpretation to such a word combination and phenomenon as “yacht club” because it is an “organization” and “berth”, i.e. the Charter and a safe place for the anchorage at the same time.

Domestic dictionaries define the yacht club as «a sport organization engaged in aquatics, mainly in sailing» or «the organization cultivating sailing sport». The creators of this phenomenon of the modern culture – the English – call the yacht club «organization which members are interested in aquatics, mainly in sailing and motor yachts as well…». It was they who interpreted a popular now word «yachting» as a certain way of life related to the Sail and everything associated with it.

As it is known, the amateur navigation in Russia has roots stretching back into the beginning of the XVIII century, when in 1713 the regal «navigator and carpenter» established the Hereditary Neva fleet long before many now well-known European yacht clubs formed. It was built at Partikulayrnaya Shipyard of St. Petersburg and consisted of 141 small sailing and rowing boats, which were transferred to «various individuals and public institutions» without compensation but on condition that they should keep the boats in order and participate in joint «exercises» - water-based exercises. This fleet in its organization reminded of the yacht club in its modern interpretation, because it had special vessels, the Charter, flag, uniform and some goals – to train personnel for the fleet service through entertainment and water-based recreation.

The First Russian Imperial St. Petersburg yacht club was established in 1846 by Nikolai I on a petition of the most educated seamen of the Russian fleet. Next year the first yacht race in the history of Russia took place. The first river yacht club was also founded in the capital of the North 14 March, 1860, and the first regulations for sailing boats race were adopted in 1861. In subsequent years yacht clubs were opened in various cities of Russia near seas and on large rivers: in 1867 in Moscow, in 1872 in Riga, in 1876 in Odessa and Saratov, in 1886 in Sevastopol, in 1887 in Kiev, etc. To organize better the activity of the sailing sports societies and yacht clubs, to coordinate their sporting activities in the beginning of 1912 the Russian racing sailing union was formed and soon Russia entered into the IYRU. Before revolution the Russian yachtsmen showed their worth on the international sports arena and took prize-winning places many times in different prestigious competitions.

Very few people know that Peter the Great was the initiator of yachting in Astrakhan, too. As early as 1722 the Kazan Admiralty built 38-foot pleasure yacht for monarchic needs and the first Caspian flotilla in the Persian cruise, though it never put to the sea, it delighted the monarch with its appearance and statue and rather great riding properties on the broad Volga lands. The northern revolutionary storms and hurricanes wiped off both «house of Peter» and dilapidated in it pleasure yacht. There remained only a decoration board with skilful carving of an intricate ornament from interlaced leaves of vine and grapes which has been kept up to the present in one of the halls of the local history museum of our city. And memory. And great traditions of the Sail.
The student of local history V.P. Lebedev writes that in 1888, 1152 sailing boats with 5144 persons of the crew were registered to the port of Astrakhan. In five years in 1893, from 1400 sea-going vessels registered to the port of Astrakhan - only about 150 vessels were steam ones. By the end of the century the amount of the sailing vessels decreased, but the tonnage dramatically increased, because the Caspian Sea ranked among the first in vessel size and total amount of the transportable freight. And from 507 sailing boats 334 were schooners including 280 two-masters; 71 three-masters; 1 four-master.

Besides this huge fishing, merchant and oil sailing fleet, there was also a small-size fleet. It was represented by sailing boats of different types: «kosoushka» -small two-masted (top and mizzen-mast) undecked bar boat; «reyushka» - small with fore-and-aft lug sail, one-masted (mizzen-mast) bar boat, and also «rybnitsa», «prorez» and «aslamka» - one-masted (top-mast) boat of half-seagoing type.
From sports vessels «…flat-bottomed centerboarders with windagef from 10 to 45 square meters prevailed on the Volga that time. As a rule the person who wanted to join the yacht club had to build and equip the boat on his own or resort to the service of the local craftsmen, who built boats to their understanding». Certainly some well-off of our city had the boats of foreign production. «That time the yachts were bought mainly abroad. From domestic sea-going yachts the best vessels were those, which were built from the drawings of the constructor A.D.Rodionov in the workshops of St. Petersburg river yacht club. Other great masters of yacht building worked also here: V.V.Shtal, G.V.Esh, M.I.Erts, K.G.Ekebom, V.P.Fan-der-Flit, P.V.Vinogradov, V.N.Pylkov, etc.»

The news of organization of the yacht club in Astrakhan, which was in the 127th issue of the «Astrakhan leaflet», 25 May, 1896 was welcomed by the local public, which indicates the topicality of the question for a rather calm and measured life of the provincial town of the very end of the XIX century. An unknown author of the Leaflet in the article with a significant title «About a yacht club on the whole and about the future of the Astrakhan one particularly» wrote: «…Taking in consideration the location of Astrakhan, namely its position in the outfall of the Volga, in a short distance from the sea, there is wondering at such late appearance of the yacht club…, which is better late than never, because the amateur sailing is surely one of the noblest kind of sport and it will be rather interesting for many Astrakhanians to familiarize themselves with it»… We sincerely welcome the emerging Yacht club and we wish it a favorable wind at first and then a long and happy sailing» .

Much wider response in the press got the news of the establishment in our town of the Clerk club the same year. The author of the «Astrakhan leaflet», who hid himself under a pseudonym «Spectator» was concerned about the fact that «there will be 11 clubs and meetings in a rather small Astrakhan …, that there is already the club of the nobility, commercial, public, military, Cossack, new yacht clubs; literary and dramatic society, society of painters, bicyclists… and now the society of clerks.
It will turn out that the club will be set up, then it will be closed in a year due to the stress of money to pay for the apartment or which is worse – it will languish in poverty. This honest citizen was concerned about the morals, which were established in old and new-founded public organizations, namely in the Club of social gathering, which «changed into the gambling house» and where the card game has been lasting «all the night till 8 a.m.»: «there shouldn’t be cards and wine in a new club, but a good library, music, billiards and chess».

Fortunately, the Astrakhan yacht club did not have such a destiny.
All the organizational arrangements related to its opening were as democratic and open as possible with a preliminary discussion through the press. In early January 1896 there was an advertisement in the «Astrakhan leaflet» «People who are in sympathy with the establishment of the Yacht club in Astrakhan and who want to join it are invited January 16 at 8 p.m. in the office of the Social Gathering to discuss and work out the Charter». The Charter of Saratov yacht club worked out earlier was taken as a basis, and as the newspaper informed during three days the Project of the Charter was proposed «daily in the office of the Social Gathering from 7 till 10 p.m., 26, 27, 28 and 29 of January for signing to the people who want to become the clubmen». As it was planed, January 16, due to the efforts of the Astrakhan enthusiasts – organizers Nikolay Nikolaevich Zhizhyn and Dmitry Fedorovich Khomutov in the office of the Social Gathering the idea and the basic provisions of the Astrakhan yacht club Charter were finally discussed. May 10, 1896 according to the established rules the Charter of the Club was approved by Dolgovo-Saburov, deputy Minister of Justice.
The goals according to the Charter of the Club were «to spread the wish to row, sail and steam:
?).to train to control ships;
b).to improve their construction;
c).to monitor fairway change of the Volga and coastal waters and to find out the reason of bank and rift formation indicating the means of their eliminating».
Besides the Club approved the ship races, arranged the discussions concerning navigation, ordered vessels or models suitable for sailing and kept the workshop for ship construction. The Club was also going to open school to train young people to control ships with issuing license to skippers, helmsmen and to build a constant life boat station the Volga to contribute to the rescue of people on water.
In contrast to the stereotyped view, the Club was not an elitist closed institution of the local nobility, rich merchant class or representatives of the industrial and banking capital. The conditions of joining the Club were rather democratic: the representative of any estate at the age of 21 or more could become the clubman. According to the law of the Russian Empire of that time restrictions concerned only women; persons who have not attained their lawful age; who were on the active list of low ranks and cadets; who were restricted in the rights in court. One who wanted to join the Club had to enlist support of not less than two Clubmen; the candidacy was discussed openly but the vote was closed. One who joined paid lump-sum: 5 - 10 roubles and the annual membership fee. The annual fee was different in various clubs and ranged from 10 to 100 roubles.
The Club kept rowing and sailing, public and private vessels: there were yachts and all kinds of deck boats and open boats, galleys, gigs and other small vessels, the list of which unfortunately has been lost. The public sailing vessels, i.e. those which were bought by the Club, were given to all of its members «who were recognized experienced in ship control». The yachts bought by the Club or private persons were rather expensive – from 2000 to 3000 roubles.
The Astrakhan yacht club had its Flag and Sign. Clause 25 of the Club Charter determined the special dress uniform for its clubmen: «the jackets… were navy blue, double-breasted, with black buttons with a matt middle and polished edges. There was a polished sign of the Club in the matt middle of the button. The waistcoats were made of the same fabric as jackets or they were of a white colour; trousers were of a navy blue colour. It was also obligatory to wear navy blue «English» cap with a black silk tape along the cap band and with a straight peak and the Club sign above it. It was also allowed to wear the same uniform made of white fabric». The officials of the yacht club must have had obligatory sleeve honorable distinctions – golden narrow stripes around the cuff of the sleeves: Commodore – three stripes, Vice-Commodore – two stripes, and members of the Committee – one stripe.
The yacht club had a right to hold family meetings with dancing, it arranged holidays and races and all these events were held with some cultural and educational activities of the Clubmen – which popularizes health and sport by its way of life. Gradually the traditions of the yacht club began to form: raising Flag of the yacht club in the morning and lowering it in the evening, and those who were present – the clubmen or its guests had to stand at attention and uncover their heads; musical and dramatic recreation evenings on some days, - as Sail, music and poetry are inseparable from the life of the yachtsman. Only probably in cultural meaning it was possible to call yachting as a kind of life activity on the grey background of the life of the Russian provinces elitist.
In the end of the XIX century one of the outstanding constructors of yachts and one of the first yachtsmen of St. Petersburg G.V.Esh wrote «Guide for sailing fans», where he particularly noted: «… observing the well-known rules and so called good form must be obligatory for every yachtsman… as for observing the proprieties on the whole, not a single self-respecting yachtsman will not allow… loud shouts, noise and drunken songs to be heard from its yacht … It is pardonable to workmen, who decided to make Sunday revelry on the hired boat, but this won’t do at all for a boat with the flag of the yacht club… Restrained behavior, characterizing the perfect gentleman…will make it possible to inspire a high opinion about yourself and sailing in strangers…».
As the «Astrakhan leaflet» reported through its notice «By the opening of the Astrakhan Yacht club»: September 24, 1896 «Messrs clubmen-founders» were invited at their first meeting.
Thus the Astrakhan yacht club has been opened. It became the 54th Russian yacht club from 68, registered by 1890.
In 1910 the famous architect of Astrakhan N.N. Milovidov built the first timber building of the yacht club on the Strelka of the Volga and Kutum on means of the same N.N.Zhizhyn; it stood on piles and was of original construction (has not remained). There was a yacht anchorage near the club. According to the data not confirmed by documents, before leaving Astrakhan in 1912, N.N.Zhizhyn has granted the building of the yacht club to our town.
There has been no information about the organizers of the yacht club for a long time, namely about N.N.Zhizhyn until his posterity in Astrakhan and now living daughter aged 93 and nephews, living in Moscow had been found. Unfortunately, scope of the article of the work do not assume the detailed investigation of the life and fate of this outstanding Astrakhanian, but some details should be mentioned.
A businessman from bourgeoisies Nikolay Nikolaevich Zhizhyn was widely known in the beginning of 20th century. He was a Hereditary Honorary Freeman of Rylsk, Kurskaya province. There was a rumour that for his charity work he got the same title in Astrakhan. From family legend is know that Zhizhyn’s forefathers, who were sellers of fish and caviar, opened their stores in Paris right after the Russian army had come there in 1814-1815. In the end of XIX – in the beginning of XX centuries Zhizhyn had his stores in Warsaw and in Cologne, but he lived in Astrakhan, first in the house of Agamzhanovy and than in his own house on the Kutum embankment. This disruptive man, capitalist, the owner of the fishing plants fought for universal literacy, he opened schools for his workers, built dwelling houses for them; he also rendered material support to the Russian Social Democratic Party (Bolsheviks). And after the revolution (before the nationalization) he gave all his property to the state on his own free will.
N.N.Zhizhyn was married twice, the first time his wife was Ilyna Nadejda Kupriyanova, daughter of the famous negotiant. But then Nikolay Nikolaevich met a big love, and he even was expelled from a church and forbidden to marry for two years. But nevertheless he married Maria Martynovna Keskulie, Estonian, left Astrakhan and went to Poland. We still don`t know how the big family of Nikolay Nikolaevich and Maria Martinovna – and they had 5 children – lived during the revolution and the Civil war. . N.N.Zhizhyn wasn`t subjected to repression, but his son of the first marriage was shot by bolsheviks in 1918. According to family legends they were saved by virtue of the acknowledgement of debt that was sighed by V.I.Lenin. The grandsons of Zhizhyn recollect that their grandfather as a specialist in fish and caviar was estimated by A.I.Mykoian. He often visited Zhizhyn at his house for consultations. The brand “the caviar from Zhizhyn” was very popular before war and was used by the Soviet Power. After the Revolution N.N.Zhizhyn came to Astrakhan just once in 1945. He visited his plant. In that time it was the fishfactory named after Mycoian, and there were old workers who remembered him. N.N.Zhizhyn died in Moscow in 1955 at the age of 93. His son, Boris Nikolaevich Zhizhyn, lived for a long time in Astrakhan and worked as a main engineer of the «Hydrofishproject» institute`s project. He died in 1998 at the age of 92.
We know less about other founder of yacht club the actual Councilor of State Dmitryi Fedorovich Homutov. Before the Revolution he lived in the house of Fisheries Administration D.F.Homutov, the manager of local fishing industry, was an initiator of building of the American cruising yacht with a dagger board at the wharf. «The necessity to organize the cruise in fishing area» by means of yacht but not ship, was motivated firstly by law price of the project and secondly by the fact that it wasn`t necessary any more to build the craft repair facility on the coast of the Eastern Caspian Sea.
The 60 foots yacht according to the drawings of Fisheries Administration P.F.Maksimovich – the teacher of seamanship – built from the local construction materials. To build the yacht they needed 6 thousand rubles but it was worth of this money. It had galvanic bottom, metallic cordage, a great saloon decorated with highly-valued wood, two cabins for customs officers and a room for sailors. 17 October 1896 with a participation of public, government and clergy there were the yacht launching and consecration ceremony. The captain of the vessel became it`s builder – P.F.Maksimovich. It is interesting to notice that before the launching of this American yacht the fleet had already owned some vessels, including the biggest one – the steamer «Catcher». The captain of «Catcher» was the fleet navigator corps retired warrant officer V.P.Markovskiy.
We know that D.Homutov, working in the yacht club, at the same time was a member of the sea rescue society. His future life is unknown: by 1917 he hadn`t already lived in Astrakhan.
It`s strange, but in Astrakhan periodical press there was nothing about the activity of Astrakhan yacht club. We suggest that the club was privet and that`s why it wasn`t among local liberal mass media`s favourites .
After the Revolution in January 1918 according to Decree of nationalization of Volga fleet yacht club was dissolved. Yachts were used for other aims or weren’t used at all: yachting was considered bourgeois hobby and there were nobody to develop or just to enjoy yachting.
After the Revolution, in 20-th years, in Astrakhan like in the whole country, the other kinds of sport were popular. Development of this sport in the city was made by Gubvoenkomat`s department of sport and gymnastics. In 1919-20 years the first Proletarskiy and the second sport and gymnastics clubs were founded, and 12 may in 1920 in summer theatre named after K.Marks there was a meeting devoted to physical development and preliminary military training. During the meeting was selected the Local Sport Executive Committee, that organized sport events for a sometime in the city. In 1923 in Soviet Union was organized the voluntary sports society “DInamo”, that united the sportsman OGPU-NKVD, in Astrakhan it appeared in 1924. This society has a 83 years history and in this history there is no place for a yachting sport. According to the recollections of one of the oldest members of this society, A.I.Oksman, there was just one event in the 20-th years that was touched of yacht. A sailboat participated in a rowed and sailed whaleboat race on route Astrakhan-Moscow in length. Directory of the Proletarskiy sport society «Dinamo» specially for this race built two-masted and ten-oars whaleboat.
In summer 1928 the team from 10 persons (the president of society «Dinamo» Trubitsin, senior instructor Oksman, Margushin, Petruhin, Nechaev, Scoroscocov, Saharin, Korotin, Shepetilnikov and Predvechniy) took to the road. The purpose of this trip was to get to Moscow by sailing and rowing through the rivers Volga, Oka and Moscow, and its objectives were the advocacy of physical education and the observation of sportsmen body state changes. The journey was hard: the team of the whaleboat couldn`t beat against the wind and that`s why the best part of the itinerary they had to row and to carry the boat with a rope. Next year (in 1929) ten sportsmen from Moscow run the same way and returned the whaleboat to astrakhan «Dinamo».
In the 30-th years and till the Second World War the rowing was popular in our city. Due to enormous work of trainers and teachers astrakhan sportsman gained their first medals in rowing sport. It was in august 1936 at the third Leningrad championship of the Soviet Union.
Historian of Astramhan sport P.Voronov describes in details the evolution of rowing in Astrakhan region. But in his books as in books of famous regional ethnographer there is nothing about development of yachting in our region. In other parts of Soviet Union, where the culture of yachting was stronger and more stable, traditions of this sport were never shut.
The first effort to organize in Soviet Union yawls and yachts race was made in Leningrad in 1924. In 1927 the soviet yachts for the first time went abroad to Finland and Sweden. And in 1928 in Leningrad there was the first All-Soviet Union Olympics. The regatta was included in its program. And in 1936 was created the All-Soviet Union sailing sports division from 1959 Yachting Sport Federation), that united the activity of yacht-clubs and sailing sections and started the organized work in the yachting sport area. The first specialized yacht wharf was built in Moscow in 1936, later the yachts and dinghies were constructed in Gorky and Kuibyshev. «In 1941 in thousands of yachtsmen did yachting sport. All-Union Central Council of Trade-Unions yacht-clubs and Voluntary Sport Society «Vodnik» in Leningrad, marine yacht-clubs in Odessa, Nikolaev, Kronshtadt and Sevastopol, river yacht-clubs in Moscow, Kuibyshev, Saratov and Gorky brought up many good yachtsmen and perfect racers.
Astrakhan stood behind the other regions of the Soviet Union not just in the development of yachting. In our region the methodical work focused on organizing of physical education and on development of others kinds of sport was started from august in 1938, when Astrakhan Regional Committee for Physical Education and Sport was created (from 1943 ?. Regional Committee for Physical Education and Sport under the jurisdiction of Astrakhan Province Executive Committee). But in its first official reports (in 1944) there wasn`t any reference to yachting. But it is said about problems of the war time, efforts of revival and organization of voluntary sports societies - «Pychevik», «Locomotive», «Burevestnik», «Labour reserves» and «Waterman». In March 1945 Voluntary Sports Society «Waterman» reported to Military department of the All-Union Communist Party Regional Committee: «the whole rowed and sailed fleet consists of 30 sport boats, 5 yachts and 2 dinghies ».
Then, there was nothing good in the development of yachting – we even can`t find it in the list of sport activities, cultivated in our region. The report of the Committee for Physical Education and Sport for 1946 says: «during the war time training ships … water stations were destroyed… in Astrakhan there were only 17 boats…»
After the Second World War, as before the Revolution, in Astrakhan, the work of the revival of the yachting sport was begun with the activity of some lone enthusiasts. The first was Dmitriy Georgeevich Tarhov, very interesting and talented person. Yung teacher of science and literature, painter and yachtsman went to Astrakhan from Arkhangelsk in 1946 and began working in Astrakhan nautical college. In two years Dmitriy Georgeevich with war veteran K.S.Yulpatov and cadet V.G.Tarhov on the scrap-heap of one of the backwater found the parts of old and destroyed yachts. Using this material they made 3 dinghies of “U” class and 2 yachts of “Olympic” class. These boats didn`t work long but they did its bit in yachting revival in our town. But it was efforts of just lone enthusiasts.
In 1952 in Astrakhan region there were 13 voluntary sport societies and sport was on the rise, but officially it was stated that : « in Astrakhan there wasn`t any sailing ». And then to the Central Council “Waterman” was set a mission: “to construct the yacht-club in Astrakhan and to get the required quantity of sailboats”. The result is that in 1953 The Rowed and Sailed Club was organized in Astrakhan.
That year was also memorable because that summer the German tourist dinghy «Puma» was bought for needs of astrakhan yachtsmen. This yacht represented the masterpiece of classical German boatbuilding industry: with a great hull, mast and cordage engineering solution; with a set of sails; the saloon was decorated with brass, copper and redwood. Many students of Astrakhan maritime academy made their practice on this yacht, but its fate was really tragic. In 1955 during the May Day Festival the yacht was doing the maneuver in front of the floating restaurant “Float”. During the maneuver the boat bent to the side and its sail dipped it the water. And it was drawn with a heavy undercurrent under the floating museum - gun vessel “Soviet Dagestan”. The crew members didn`t suffer, but the yacht beyond repair.
Astrakhan Rowing and Sailing Club located on the place where Volga meets Kutum in the building of the old Commercial and Industrial Bourse, nowadays it is a Town Wedding Palace. The silhouette of this building, located just in front of the first wooden yacht-club, reminded a vessel. It was built from 1908 till 1911 by famous architecture V.Varganek-Valdovskiy. In Bourse there were two luxurious restaurants, a dancing hall with a special loge for an orchestre, a pool-room and other services. After the Revolution and till the Second World War this building was occupied by Raycomvod. During the War the windows of the first floor were changed to firing ports, and on the roof there was a watch post of Caspian fleet sailors, but in 1943 the building was handed over to Minrybprom.
In 1951 Commercial and Industrial Bourse lodgement were occupied by the Main Caspian Fish Products Committee and only from 1953 there were lodged the Town Wedding Palace and the Rowed and Sailed Club. On the first floor there was a row section, on the second floor – a ailing section, and in a basement there were not only a big and dry boathouse, but also a training pool for the row section.
In 50-th (as during the pre-war time) in Astrakhan the rowing sport was preferable: there were good trainers and material resources. There rowing stations of Voluntary sport societies «Trud», «Waterman» and «Dinamo» were built. In September 1952 in Astrakhan took place the 10th USSR rowing and boat racing championship where our countrymen in fighting with the best teams from Leningrad, Moscow, Saratov, Odessa had pride of 5-th place.
It stands to mention, that in 1951 the USSR Yachting Sport Olympic Council was created and in 1952 our Olympic team participated for the first time at the regatta on the XV Olympic Game in Helsinki (Finland). This fact gave an impulse for Astrakhan Regional Sport Committee to form a real sailing fleet with a station on the river Kutum near the bridge on Zhelyabov street. It was in the middle of 50-th.
Some vessels were brought from Baltic. These were two old but with a complete set of sails dinghies of “M” class (“Berkut” (“Golden eagle”) and “Soroka” (“Magpie”)); three keel yachts of Olympic “Dragon” class; two dinghies of Olympic class (“Finn”), four keel yachts of “Zvyozvny” (“Star”) class and also two dinghies of international “O” class (“Olympic”) and two training dinghies (“Yorsh” (“Ruff”)). The part of these boats was handed to DSO “Vodnik” (VSS “Waterman”). Some of old dinghies were in DSO “Trud”, which was organized in Astrakhan in 1958. The end of 50s and the beginning of 60s can be called as “golden years” in development of yachting in Astrakhan: from 1958 till 1962 the local Sports committee organized annual sailing sport competitions. The first races of this kind with steersman changing by yachts of “Zvyozvny” (“Star”) class were organized on Batnachny road on the 22nd of June 1958. 22 sportsmen from DSO “Vodnik”, “Trud” and Rowing and Sailing Club took part in them. The first place won V. Larkin. This raising of yachting in these years was conditioned on that fact, that in 1957 the sailing section of Astrakhan rowing-sailing club leaded A.S. Bastrykin.
About this person, who was very important in the development of yachting not only in Astrakhan, but also on the North Caspian, should be said in greater detail. Anatoly Semenovich Bastrykin was born in the village Kudryashevo, Gur’ev region, Kazakhstan. In 1954 he completed the mine-and-torpedo department of Caspian naval college in Baku and went to serve at the Baltic Sea. After a year of service as a captain of a mine-and-torpedo warhead-3 of a trawler, he was injured during the towing a mine out of the vessel and was invalid out of the Navy in grade of lieutenant commander. In 1956 he came to Astrakhan and took a job of a coach in the Astrakhan row-yacht club, where he had leading the sailors’ section until 1963. A.S. Bastrykin didn’t have his own children and he passed all his experience and knowledge, enthusiasm and energy, love of the sea and sail to the younger generation. These were the best years of the club. At that time there were a lot of young people who really wanted to know everything about sailing. The first generation of Astrakhan yachtsmen studied here, they took part in different competitions and improved their skills in the delta of the Volga River and on the North Caspian. But in 1962 the yacht club got the serious problems. The Shipping Inspectorate closed the town horn of Volga for small boats and yachtsmen lost the exit to the “open” water.
The next year the club was closed. Obviously, the local government thought, that Astrakhan was having no prospects in development of yachting. This fact was unexampled, because just in 1960s the soviet yachtsmen had a great success in Olympic regattas and international competitions. The World’s and Europe’s champion titles on the yachts of different Olympic types won V. Mankin, V. Potapov, S. Horetskiy, S. Borodinov, G. Biganishvily, B. Budnikov, E. Bogatyrev, Y. Konovalov, S. Kravtsov and others.
After the yacht club had been closed its yacht fleet was handed to the Astrakhan maritime academy. In 1963 A.S. Bastrykin also went into AMA, where he worked as a head of the training base and as an instructor of special disciplines. Here Bastrykin trained the yachtsmen team that more than once took part in All-Russian sailing sport competitions and sea all-round competitions in Volgograd and Kuibyshev, he organized sailing trips along the Volga and Akhtuba rivers and to the Caspian Sea.
A.S. Bastrykin was also an original yacht’s designer. In 1966 Anatoly Semenovich the first one in Astrakhan built a cruiser yacht “Nika” from fiber-glass whaler and traveled around the whole Caspian Sea on it. The next his project was the two-masted schooner “Gratsiya”. That was a very famous boat in the Caspian Sea. Upon his recommendation two-masted schooners “Feya”, “Tahiti”, “Blues” and the sloop “Gent” were built.
Anatoly Bastrykin was a very modest, honest, generous, talented person with a very kind heart. He was always ready to help everybody who came to him for advice or engineering solution. At the beginning of 90s Bastrykin was obliged to leave AMA because of incomprehension with direction. So as not to lose a great master and a very good person, his student Y.N. Kolokoltsev with the participation of the Board of Education opened the sailing base for children where Anatoly Semenovich had been working till the rest of his life. He died in 2001.
A.S. Baskrykin had a lot of students who are famous Astrakhan yachtsmen nowadays: Y. Tarkhov, V. Gamfold, Y. Kolokoltsev, V. Prokopenko, G. Milyashkin, V. Karavanov, V. Rasskazov, Ya. Levitsky, V. Kabakov, V. Larkin, L. Tarkhov, B. Zelenin, A. Vorozhbyan, A. Lindberg, V. Krzhanovsky, N. Savelev, Y. Astakhov and others.
The second point in the history of the Sail in the Volga Delta is connected with the work of the Caspian maritime academy’s yacht club. In 1974 the graduate of the industrial fishing department of Astrakhan Technical Institute of fishing industry and economy, young instructor of special disciplines A.A. Vorozhbyan together with the other instructors and members of the institute A.B. Zamyslov, Y.V. Popov, E.I. Grinchenko and K.K. Kuzmin organized a sailing club. The material basis of the future yacht-club was four boats “Yal-6P” with a quite good rig. On these yachts students and instructors went around the whole Volga Delta – they have been in Olya port, at the Kirovskij fish processing plant, in the Caspian coastal waters and also made three great trips to Volgograd, where the CMA team together with the sportsmen from Volgograd took part in the sea pentathlon. In the club they also did designing and building of yachts: in 1981 from the self made drawings one of the first in Astrakhan 7-meters long catamaran of the “Kit” (“Whale”) type was built. In the same year the yacht-club of Caspian maritime academy “Caspiy” was officially legalized and the next years (1982-1984) were the best years in its history, because at that time a lot of different cruiser yachts were obtained: centerboard boat of “T-2” “Mars” type, Quarter Tons “Sirius”, “Orion”, “Vega”, One Ton of “Marina” type “Breeze” (“Komsomolets”) and three sport racing yachts of “Flying Dutchman” type. From two completely written-off caviar plants and floating causeway a good marine (a berthing for a sailing fleet) was made, there also was technique for yachts maintenance and precautions. In these years the club united the best yachtsmen and enthusiasts of our town: here worked R.R. Sajfullin, A.A. Grishin, A. Skorobogatov; later in the end of 80s – in the beginning of 90s Valery and Sergey Rasskazovy, Alexandr Korneev, Vladislav Perepechenov, Veniamin Rodnenko and others came. During a decade annual regatta-tours to Volgograd and Saratov had been made; yachts’ crews from Astrakhan developed the North Caspian and visited Shevchenko, Bautino, Makhachkala, Kaspiysk, Eralievo. In the hard for the country and the region 90s the activity of the yacht-club was limited by the resources of the academy, but the base of the sailing fleet became older, experienced staff went away in search of new opportunities, the young people didn’t come to the club.
The next point in the history of yachting in Astrakhan is connected with the person of the new economic generation, businessman and devotee of yachting Valery Borisovich Prokopenko, who has revived the activity of the yacht-club with his teacher A.S. Bastrykin and with the other devotees of yachting Andrey Paltsev, Vladimir Androsov, Igor Kvyatkovsky, Vladislav Perepechenov, Dmitry Ermakov and others. On the 4th of October 1993 the department of Justice of the Astrakhan region government approved the new edition of the old Rules of the Astrakhan yacht-club.
In summer 1999, right in 277 years after Peter the Great left our town, during the visit of Russian imperiality, to the son of the Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirivna, His Imperial Highness Heir Grand Duke George Michaylovich Romanov the Ticket ?2 of the Honorary Member of the Yacht-club and an exclusive Badge made of gold was presented. The descendant of the Great Emperor and founder of the Hereditary Neva flotilla became the Honorary Member of the Astrakhan Yacht-Club.
The rebirth of the yacht-club in our town wouldn’t be possible without the active development and popularization of the sailing sport, consolidation of deferent people on basis of standard of yachting around Astrakhan sailing centre “Rivmar” (the president is V. Prokopenko, the director is D. Ermakov). In 1996 the Centre obtained the license to lead educational activities of training of the yachting specialists, yachtsmen, water tourists, scuba divers and also since 2001 the centre got into the international children sea ecological program. Just here the Sailing school for teenagers and youth was opened and the combined program “The School under Sail” was developed. Thanks to this program thousands of boys and girls has built their health and went into the basic sailing knowledge, and more than 150 young men obtained a rank of sailing masters of different classes. There were also joint ecological programs in study of biological resources of the Caspian Sea and Volga Delta together with Caspian Floating University under the patronage of UNESCO and Astrakhan Caspian scientific-research institute of fishing industry. In the Centre have been always worked professionals who have leaded sailing and modeling sections, taught diving, realized sailing regattas. The students of the Centre have taken part in local and All-Russia competitions; have yachted down the Volga and in the Caspian Sea, have taken part in sailing tours around the Europe and even the world.
Nowadays, a small but mobile fleet of cruising yachts of the town numbers 15 pennants, the best part of them is the property of Astrakhan regional sailing centre “Rivmar”. Valery Rasskazov, Illarion Tsomaev, Aleksey Pletnev, Igor Chenchurov, Andrej Paltsev are the people of different professions, they have gone thousands of miles by their ships and have taken part in dozens of prestigious races and voyages.
The whole geography of regattas:
• 1992: Astrakhan – Volgograd – Kerch – Tuapse – Burgas – Varna (Bulgaria) – Astrakhan;
• 1994: Saint Petersburg – Southampton (Great Britain);
• 1995: Irkutsk – Cheverkulsky bay of Lake Baikal;
• 1996: Astrakhan – Taganrog – Blanes (Spain);
• 1996: Astrakhan – Enzeli (Iran) – Astrakhan;
• 1997: Barcelona – Taragona (Spain);
• 2000: Astrakhan – Nowshahr (Iran) – Astrakhan;
• 2001: Astrakhan – Aktau – Kendyrli (Kazakhstan) – Astrakhan;
• 2002: Astrakhan – Aktau (Kazakhstan) – Baku (Azerbaijan) - Enzeli (Iran) – Astrakhan;
• 2006: regatta “ARC-2006”, the Canaries (Spain) – Santa-Lucia, Lesser Antilles;
• 2007: Astrakhan – Aktau – Bautino (Kazakhstan) – Astrakhan;
• 2007: Russian week on a seashore of Turkey, the Mediterranean,” the Volvo Cup”.
Astrakhan yacht-club is 112 years old. Its newest history is only 15 years old and it’s still in the course of writing.

E. Degtyarev

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Astrakhan Yachts Club | 2009
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