«Морской центр капитана Варухина Н.Г.»
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     This is the reason why in our ancient Russian city people have always taken the upbringing of future sailors, the patriots of their great Motherland, so seriously.
     Novgorod Young Sailors’ Club is a true landmark of Veliky Novgorod. This Club was well-known in the USSR, it is now well-known in Russia and abroad.
     Young Sailors’ Club (YSC) is occupies a whole complex of buildings on a picturesque bank of the Volkhov River in the center of Veliky Novgorod. YSC has class rooms, maintenance facilities and a berth for training vessels. It’s hard to believe that 45 years ago Novgorod young sailors had their first classes in a tiny room in a local recreation center, and only in their dreams they could imagine how great it is to go into sea on a real ship. It was very likely hat this course of things wouldn’t change if it weren’t for Nikolay Varukhin. Being a specialist in navigation, engineering and in commanding the 1st class ships Nikolay Gennadyevich turned out to be not only a brilliant teacher, but also a talented organizer or, as we would now say, a talented manager. He strove for the truly impossible: he managed to obtain several obsolete ships from the USSR Navy and from the Ministry of fish industry. The first of these ships came to Novgorod in 1967, and this day became the birth date of the Novgorod Young Sailors’ Club!
When the ships were given over to Novgorod, they were in quite a bad state, but they were repaired, re-equipped and turned into training vessels by the Club’s workers. «Yuriy Ivanov», «Lyenya Golikov the Pioneer», «Sasha Kovalyev» – these are the names of the ships that preceded two present ships of YSC – «Mikhail Balaban» and «Gospodin Veliky Novgorod».
     Yura Ivanov and Sasha Kovalyev accomplished heroic feats during the Great Patriotic War. Yura was a young sailor of the Northern Fleet, Sasha was a graduate of Solovetsky young sailors’ school, the one where the writer Valentine Pikul was “born”; he wrote a book about his comrades and called it «Boys with bows». The traditional ribbons are also streaming on peakless caps of young sailors, and meetings with war veterans - graduates of Solovetsky young sailors’ school – have also become traditional, as almost every summer young sailors make voyages on training ships to Solovetsky islands. Actually, the routes of the summer voyages are very diverse -  the Baltic sea, the White sea, the Northern sea, the Barents sea, Ladoga and Onega Lakes, and Volga River. Thanks to the efforts of Nikolay Varukhin in 1984 the training ship «Sasha Kovalyev» was given the right to go into international waters. Since those times Novgorod young sailors have been to Germany, Finland and Sweden. After going through severe competition cadets of Novgorod Young Sailors’ Club were selected to become crew members of round-Europe voyage on sailing ship «Mir» and round-the-world voyage on Polish barkentine «Pogoriya». They became participants of international sailing regattas including the regatta dedicated to 500-anniversary of Discovery of America.
Young sailors have counted that for 40 years of the Club’s history they have made more than 50 long-distance and 150 short-distance voyages, and have passed more than 200 thousand kilometers. And though their parents and friends always wish them successful trip and 7 foots on the keel, not every voyage goes smoothly. For example, during a voyage to the Finnish city of Uusikupunki, a sister-city of Novgorod, YSC’s vessel withstood a sever test of a fast-moving storm. Fortunately, everything ended well due to young sailors’ good training skills that they acquired at the Club. Another fact proving the good level of training is that Novgorodian «boys with bows» have traditionally got and are still getting prize-winning places in republican and all-USSR competitions, and later in all-Russian competitions of young sailors’. If we follow the statistics, then we should say that for 40 years more than two thousand young men have graduated from Novgorod YSC. More than 500 of them entered marine colleges; about 200 have become Navy officers. YSC’s graduates serve in the navy, work in merchant fleet and in steamship companies all over the country. The names of some of then are known to all young sailors and not only to them. Valeriy Ivanov has become an admiral and is now commanding a nuclear submarines’ junction in Kamchatka. Vitaliy Kuznetsov, a senior lieutenant, died in the course of tragic events on a missile submarine «Kursk». In this way the new time adds new names to the Club’s history and to the history of Russia.
     And what do the young sailors do when the navigation is over? They have classes in navigation and engineering; they learn how to tie knots; and also they study English. They study with diligence, and there is good reason for that. For the third year Novgorod YSC conducts the entrance exams into Saint-Petersburg’s State Marine Academy in the name of Admiral S.O. Makarov. Last year 18 young men from Veliky Novgorod entered the Academy – 18 out of 22 who took the entrance exams «under YSC’s roof».

 

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