From September 25 to October 9, 2021, Turkey, with the support of the State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom, will host the Mediterranean stage of the Sails of the Spirit expedition. For the first time, the expedition will be held in the format of a sailing offshore race – a race on the high seas.  Two yachts with inclusive crews will start on the Mediterranean Sea, they will pass along the route Gocek – Antalya – Tashuju – Gocek (Turkey), and during sea crossings teams will compete both in the ability to control sails and subdue the wind, and in the ability to manage inclusive interaction. This year, the expedition will host regattas, concerts, environmental and landscaping campaigns, sporting events, panel discussions, networking sessions and excursions in a hybrid (online + offline) format. The motto of the 17th stage of “Sails of the Spirit” will be “Sport. Ecology. Inclusive culture “.

The Sails of Spirit team prepares and conducts inclusive yachting expeditions and regattas, social and cultural events in places of stay in order to form a new positive model of interaction between people with disabilities and society. Project goal: development of inclusive yachting as an open model for the manifestation of special talents and abilities of a person. The expedition includes people with disabilities and people without disabilities from different cities and countries.

This year representatives of Russia, Turkey, Sweden, Latvia, Ukraine and Germany will take part in the project “Sails of the Spirit”. An artist from Hamburg (Germany) – Pavel Ehrlich will create an art object from household garbage collected during an environmental campaign. A blind rock musician, author of the official song of the First World Congress of Persons with Disabilities (Yekaterinburg, 2017) – Vladimir Bush will come from Krasnoyarsk (Russia) to participate in inclusive concerts on board the yacht and as part of the “Days of Inclusion”. The crews will be managed by Latvian captains Uldis and Reinis Mezhulis.

For 10 years, “Sails of the Spirit” has changed the lives of many people with disabilities and without disabilities. For example, in 2019, Ahmet Irdel, a participant from Turkey who lost his sight after heart surgery, went on an expedition to the Mediterranean Sea. Ahmet did not know how to adapt to the new conditions of life, and he and his wife Natalia decided to take part in the “Sails of the Spirit”.I am now leading the project of the family eco-camp “Chiradei” – this is an “anti-gadget” camp for children, where we promote an environmentally friendly attitude to life”, – says Natalya Smyskova-Irdel, Ahmet’s wife. The rehabilitation period after Ahmet lost most of his vision was difficult for us, he did not have confidence in himself. “Sails of the Spirit” became a new starting point for life “after disability”. Now Ahmet does not feel like a person with a disability – he is very active, positive, immediately after the project he got a job, he doesn’t feel inferior in any way. He indeed revived his spirit, began in a sense a “new” life. For those who are just going to participate in the project, I would say this: your life will not be the same. After participating in the project, a new round of life will begin, an impetus to something new, everyone has their own ”.

This year Antalya and Silifka will host “Inclusion Days”, which include workshops on inclusive interaction, inclusive workshops, environmental and greening campaigns, inclusive concerts and inclusive sailing regattas. International “Days of Inclusion in Selivka” will be a preparation for the International Congress of Persons with Disabilities, which will be held in Turkey in 2022.

On September 23, 2021 at 19:30 (Moscow time), the official online opening and presentation of the Mediterranean stage of the Sails of the Spirit expedition will take place. Representatives of public organizations, media representatives are invited to the opening.

Detailed information about the Sails of the Spirit project, conditions of participation and the necessary preparation is available at the link: A detailed description of the 17th stage of the international inclusive expedition “Sails of the Spirit 2021” is available at the link: 

News about the course of the expedition will be published in the social networks of the “White Cane” and the project “Sails of the Spirit”, also on the pages in Facebook and Instagram will be conducted live broadcasts from the stages of the offshore race and inclusive events in the places where the expedition stops.

Partners of the international inclusive expedition “Sails of the Spirit” in 2021:

State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom

Federal Agency “Rossotrudnichestvo”

Russian Geographical Society

Coordinating Council of Organizations of Russian Compatriots in Turkey

Ministry of Youth Policy and Sports of the Republic of Turkey.

Akdeniz District Government of Mersin

District government Muratpasha Antalya

District government Silifke, Mersin

Municipality of Silifke District, Mersin

Federation of Visually Impaired Turkey

Russian Society of Antalya

Society of Education, Youth and Sports for the Hearing Disabled of Mersin, Turkey

Mersin Deaf Sports Club, Turkey

Society of Disabled People and Families with Disabled People of Marmaris, Turkey

District Council Akdeniz Mersin

“White Cane” NGO, Russia

“White Cane Sevastopol” NGO,

Department for the blind and visually impaired of the library. Leo Tolstoy (Sevastopol,)

Institute of Management Design and Competitive Strategies LLC

“Center for Inclusive Culture” NGO, Sevastopol



Head of the “Sails of the Spirit” project

Oleg Kolpashchikov

+7 906 810-22-88  

Project coordinator in Turkey

Natalia Blinova

+90 536 681 96 13