St. Petersburg has lost its Central Yacht Club.
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St. Petersburg has lost its Central Yacht Club.

Over the past 10 years, a dozen yacht clubs have» closed in the Russian «maritime capital.
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What happened was something that the yachtsmen had talked about for years, feared, but still did not believe it would happen. The fact that Central would shut down, cut off the booms and deny the yachtsmen access to water seemed impossible and unrealistic, well, there are rumors, and God with them maybe one day it will happen, but not now. But in the summer 2020 the beginning of navigation was in question. The joy of the beginning of the season overshadowed the quite tangible anxiety for the future of the club.

How yachtsmen were evicted from Petrovskaya spit

On the 17th of June yachtsmen of the River Yacht Club of Trade Unions (known as the Central Yacht Club until 1996) got acquainted with the demand to free the water area of the Malaya Nevka and leave the berth. The demand came from the Petrograd branch of the Bailiff Service, it was based on the decision of the arbitration court as early as 2011. In the course of that arbitration case, the court invalidated the water use contract concluded between the club and the city, as it was concluded without an auction, and demanded the club to remove the objects from all three harbors - Northern (gala), Western (guest) and Working (this year the document does not say anything about the Working harbor).

The yachtsmen got a look at the demand, but they took their time to leave. All the more that there is no place to leave especially: the situation with the parking places in the city is very difficult. One of the largest sites in the city - Yacht Club of St. Petersburg - is under repair, the Yacht Club on Krestovsky Island is also in litigation, the «Baltic» is far from the center. In general, yachtsmen were waiting for the last one.

At first UFSSP employees blocked the exit to some similarities, but the yachtsmen managed to get to the boats. In early July, according to the city Internet «newspaper Fontanka», the administration of the Central Yacht Club contested the bailiffs' actions in an arbitration court, asking to declare three decisions on the old enforcement proceedings illegal, but did not get a positive result. At the beginning of August bailiffs continued to cut down the gangways leading to the courts.

By early September, the time of the traditional SPIBS exhibition, there were two gangways left on the water in the front harbor.

The exhibition was successful, but all the events resembled noisy dances in the house of a dying man. On September 15, the Central Club was practically disbanded, all pontoons were removed, all remaining gangways and gangways were cut. According to living witnesses to the event, the dismantling was supervised by police and OMON.

The yachts left the Petrovskaya spit. Where to? Who to where. The main and the oldest yachting club - they are no longer such. In general, as if there was no history in 160 years.

A century and a half long history

The River Union Yacht Club, the largest in the European part of Russia, was founded in 1860. It survived the October Revolution, after which in 1924 it got new owners - trade unions. Since 1934 the club has settled down on Petrovsky Island, on man-made land. By the way, in the 20-30s yachting in Leningrad was rapidly developing, there were a lot of people going to master sailing science.

It was at that time that the Central Yacht Club focused on democracy and masses, and this was the way it had been during its existence.

And in the post-Soviet time the classes were available, it was possible to join the crew of almost any club yacht, the crews were happy with the inflow of fresh power.

Went through Central and through military dash. After the Victory, his fleet was enriched with German trophy ships. In 1992 the club was transferred to a new format, then there was a contract between yachtsmen and the management, the essence of which is that the club provides free of charge yachtsmen boats, berths and storage space and provides conditions for racing, and yachtsmen keep the fleet on their own funds.

In 2009 the ROO «Sports Collective of Yachtsmen of the St. Petersburg Central Yacht Club»was established, which somehow helped to defend the interests of the yachting collective.

As Nikita Brilliantov, a member of the Council of Captains of the River Yacht Club, a member of the presidium of St. Petersburg Sailing Sports, remembers:

«Almost always when a new director came, he wondered why we use boats for free and tried to rent them out to us. Then there was a moment when we wanted to sell our boats, but we bravely repelled such attacks and explained to our bosses that everything should stay according to the contract».

The territory of the River Yacht Club is in indefinite use by the Federation of Trade Unions. The Club is the owner of the territory, the hydraulic structures - berthing walls and the breakwater are managed by the Sailing School of High Sportsmanship.

The Club's fleet of 60 cruising yachts. They are owned by the St. Petersburg and Russian trade union federations in the ratio of 75% to 25%.

The Central Yacht Club was the main sea gate of the city, its water area was part of the «Big Port of St.»Petersburg.

He was the first to meet small boats coming to the city and was the only one to receive foreign yachts that city officials dream so much about.

Yachtsmen got caught up in the handout

Oleg Vasilyev, a famous St. Petersburg yachtsman and world champion in boating, holds such an opinion:

«The yacht club, where the romanticism of sails reigns, is likely to disappear. The unique yachting environment, in which St. Petersburg yachtsmen were brought up, the city's maritime history and culture are being destroyed, and the veterans of yachtsmen are out of business. Such fine fabrics of the owners of the club - Trade Unions, of course, do not touch. They do not want to spend money and invest in the club, but to earn on the territory and yachting infrastructure - very much so. Hence the various, mostly crazy projects to build on the groundsthen a temple, then an apart-hotel, a swimming pool, or God knows what»else.

For example, the recent renovation plan from 2019, which was prepared by the administration of the yacht club, was mainly about building up, and the sports facilities were like housing. Officially the plan was not presented, the concept was published by the yachtsmen themselves, St. Petersburg media wrote about it. It is clear that the project remained on paper.


«The conflict over the use of the berthing wall, if desired, could have been settled long ago or a legally verified course»could have been found, - Oleg Vasilyev believes.

The best proof of this thought will be an interview with the Club's director Vadim Epishin, which he gives to the Business «Petersburg edition. In it, Epishin says:

«The other day we will sign a water-sharing agreement with the Children's Sailing School, which also works in our territory. But everybody knows that the club and the school had a disagreement, which went to court. It was a long time ago, and since then we have come to an understanding. Now we are closing all disputes with amicable agreements. We realized in time that the yacht club and the school can not without each other, and came to decisions that suit both the management of the club and the school management.

That's what he said in July, and two weeks later, the club cut the gangways and went down.

What's all this for?

Speculation, information and various other versions about what will be in the place of the club, what will be with the club itself walks a lot. What's going to happen at the station?

Version one. The Mezhduzovsky Student Center of yachting sport will be built on this site. This idea has been discussed in St. Petersburg by both the government and the yachting community since spring 2020. The President of Russia ordered to open the club, broadcasting his decision to the Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov. Vladimir Derbin, the head of the Federation of Trade Unions, received a letter proposing to transfer the area of the yacht club to the city.

According to the second version, another round of conflict between the Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matvienko and the Head of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia Mikhail Shmakov influenced the bailiffs' desire to return to the old business.

In general, interests of the territory, and, accordingly, of the club, are at a high level.

The Petrovskaya spit is washed by the waters of the Malaya Nevka and Malaya Neva and administratively belongs to the historical and prestigious Petrogradsky district from the real estate point of view. Islands, coasts and water panoramic views - were and will remain a tasty piece for any developer. And although on February 26, 2020 ZakSobranie St. Petersburg adopted a law to include most of the Petrograd Spit in the list of public green spaces and construction here is impossible, the Central yachtsmen admit that the map can play out for anything. For example, an elite residential complex of the same name appeared on the place of Leontief Cape. And the developer (LenSpets SMU) came very close to the very borders of the club, near the Working Harbor of the club, a residential complex is being built on Petrovskaya spit.

In the meantime ... Smolny has once again developed the concept of creating a Water Tourism Centre in St. Petersburg. Against the background of recent events, it looks more like a mockery. «The city concept of yachting development will be included into the national project «Tourism and hospitality»industry, said the Head of St. Petersburg Tourism Committee Sergey Korneev recently. Together with the expert community a yachting route from Moscow to St. Petersburg is being developed. Speaking at the Marine Council, Alexander Beglov supported the idea to create a working group that will develop a road map for the development of tourism yachting in the city. Beglov intends to develop all types of water tourism - ferry, cruise, pleasure and yachting. According to the governor, the city can receive up to 2 thousand different yachts and about 15 thousand yachtsmen, including foreign tourists, per month (!). I just want to ask what clubs can do it?

Since the 2000s, the number of clubs in the «sea capital» that have been destroyed or have ceased to exist is close to ten.

As in St. Petersburg, yacht clubs have been shut down

2003 - closed Korbelka's student yacht «club on» Bull Island. The construction of an elite yacht club with a swimming pool, hotel and cottages started in its place, but after the construction it turned out that the construction was illegal. The unfinished complex was handed over to the Ministry of Defense to create a boarding house for students.

2009 - The Ministry of Defense put up for auction the yacht club of the Navy on Vasilyevsky Island.

2010 - the city broke the lease agreement with «Centurion» LLC (tenant of Kronstadt Yacht Club) and evicted the company from the island of Kotlin through a court. In 2018 it was announced that on the place of the closed Kronstadt Yacht Club a children's sailing school and a berth for small vessels with more than 100 places will be built. According to the latest information, negotiations with investors are under way there.

2013 - Strelnitsky Yacht Club is closed. The yacht club has changed its owner. The new owner (which is rumored to be followed by Gazprom) intends to build a hotel complex and business center on the site of the yacht club and the «Strelna» sanatorium. The pier for yachts will be preserved, but it will be halved. According to «Fontanka», the construction may start in spring 2020.

2017 - the activity of yacht-clubs «Neva» and «Nevka is» actually blocked: the passage to the bay blocked bridges ZSD and pedestrian Yacht Bridge, not high enough for the passage of sailing yachts. Yacht clubs were reoriented to elite accommodation with berths for boats.

2019 - yacht «club Petrogradets» lives through the last season. The club has a long overdue lease agreement, and the authorities intend to improve the promenade on the Karpovka River embankment.

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