The Sails of the Spirit is an around-the-world journey on a sailing yacht with people with disabilities

The beginnings

The idea of the around-the-world journey on a sailing yacht belongs to Sergey Burlakov.

  • Sergey Burlakov is a para-athlete. Despite his disability, in 2004 Sergey took part in the New York marathon and won, having covered 42 km on his prosthetic legs. Sergey used to manage an advertisement agency in Taganrog, the Rostov region.

In August 2011, Sergey shared his plans with Oleg Kolpashchikov who became very interested in the idea of an inclusive sea voyage. At their first meeting in Taganrog, they decided to carry out this project.

  • Oleg Kolpashchikov is blind. Oleg is the president of WHITE CANE, an NGO based in Yekaterinburg, the Sverdlovsk region.

The idea is to get together people of all abilities in a sailing crew. In October 2011 such an unusual crew under the leadership of Viktor Klokov began the first training in Croatia. This was the beginning of the Sails of the Spirit project.

A list of preparatory stages for the around-the-world journey

Stage 1

October 12

Southern Adriatic Sea

Read more about Stage 1

Stage 2

April 2012

Andaman Sea, Thailand

Read more about Stage 2

Stage 3

August 2012

Lake Baikal, Russia

Read more about Stage 3

Stage 4

November 2012

Mediterranean Sea

Turkey, Norther Cyprus

Read more about Stage 4

Stage 5

May 2013

Caribbean Sea, Cuba

Read more about Stage 5

Stage 6

June-July 2013

Northern Sea

The Netherlands and Germany

Read more about Stage 6

Stage 7

August 25 – September 11, 2013

Baltic Sea

Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia

Read more about Stage 7

Stage 8

August 4 – May 11, 2014

Mediterranean Sea

International regatta “Banzai is conquering the world!”

Read more about Stage 8

Stage 9

June 7-21, 2014

Azov Sea and Black Sea

Taganrog (Rostov region), Crimea, Sebastopol

Read more about Stage 9

Stage 10

August 4-25, 2014

Baltic Sea

Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Finland

Read more about Stage 10

Stage 12

April 29 – May 7, 2016, Lake Seval

Inclusive sailing training camp in Armenia

Read more about Stage 12

Tashir supported the international humanitarian mission the Sails of the Spirit

Stage 13

June 29 – August 23, 2016

Baltic Sea and Northern Sea

Saint-Petersburg (Russia) – Paris (France)

Read more about this stage in Traveler’s Notebook


As time passed by, the Sails of the Spirit voyages grew into an international humanitarian mission. Participants of the project not only learn how to sail but establish contacts with people and organizations in the countries of their travel. The Sails of the spirit project collaborates with people from the Netherlands, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Cuba and other countries. The crew prepares and carries presentations, workshops, round tables, and meetings at the expedition

stops and regattas.

Each sailing expedition is made by a crew that consists of people with and without disabilities, i.e. people of ALL ABILITIES. In regattas and expeditions, disabled and nondisabled people learn to live, work, overcome nature and distances through developing their talents and capacities. Active youth, professional yachtsmen, people from different backgrounds and life-paths all take part in the project. The mission of the project is to develop international inclusive cooperation. The Sails of the Spirit is a community of people who have an experience of prevailing over troubles and who are capable to inspire others by their own example.

Trainings, expeditions, championships

A trip around the world is a serious challenge that requires careful preparation and particular experience. Hence, in order to get such knowledge and skills, inclusive crews take part in international and domestic sailing championships and regattas. For the first time in the history of Russian sailing, people with visual impairments are equal participants of the crew: they work as sail trimmers

In the framework of the Sails of the Spirit project, since 2015, we have been organizing Open Championships in Inclusive sailing. These championships are held on the premises of the regional yacht-club “KomatekSportivnaya Rossiya”. According to the rules of these championships, the captain of each crew must be blind.

June 12-13, 2015

First open championship of the Sverdlovsk region in Inclusive Sailing

Read more about the championship

June 10-12, 2016

Open championship of Russia in Inclusive Sailing

Read more about the championship

Day 1, Day 2

September 16-17, 2016

Second Open Championship of the Sverdlovsk region in Inclusive Sailing

Read more about the championship

Inclusive water sports

In order to prepare and train the participants of the project, we organize training camps on sailing, where inclusive crews learn the theory and practice of sailing together with professional yachtsmen. There is also a swimming club in the Palace of Youth of Yekaterinburg. In 2016, the participants of the projects completed the basic training course on freediving, in order to prepare for different emergencies in water.

In 2014, the Committee on Inclusive Sailing was created under the umbrella of the Sailing Federation of the Sverdlovsk region. The main purpose of the development of inclusive sailing is addition of inclusive championships to the Olympic program.

The Sails of the Spirit project actively collaborates with state institutions, NGOs and businesses whose approach is to create values through the creative use of the strengths of different participants. We thank our partners and sponsors that support the events of the project and hope to continue the collaboration in future. We invite Russian and international organizations that carry out socially responsible activities to cooperate with us!


  • UTair Aviation
  • Standart, the Kurgan Meat Processing Plant
  • Inter RAO — Engineering
  • Southern Federal University, the city of Rostov-on-Don
  • Governor Administration and the Government of the Sverdlovsk region
  • Yacht-clubKomatekSportivnaya Rossiya, Yekaterinburg, Russia
  • Yacht-clubAuda, Riga, Latvia
  • Tartu Mill, Tartu, Estonia
  • Banzay publishing house, Yeakterinburg
  • Soyuz Dobrovoltsev Rossii NGO
  • Es redzu NGO, Latvia
  • Zeilen met Visie NGO, the Netherlands
  • Sverdlovsk regional state library for the blind
  • Tashir, Moscow
  • Armenian National Disabled Sports Federation, Yerevan, Armenia
  • Ural Bez Narkotikov, non-commercial partnership
  • Russian state social university
  • Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency
  • L’Association Valentin Haüy, Paris, France
  • Eldorado-tur travel agency, Yekaterinburg
  • The State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM
  • St. Petersburg state library for the blind
  • Rotary Club of Alexandria Cosmopolitan

Sea travels and sailing with interesting and unusual people!

The Sails of the Spirit project invites interesting people who are ready to challenge themselves, develop their strengths and personal qualities, to join this important and meaningful adventure. Any person regardless of their age and physical condition can become a member of the trainings, expeditions, regattas or events on the shore. Any participant, regardless of their capacities and tasks, can spend a day, or a week, or the entire expedition with the crew.

Contact information

The leader of the experidition:
Oleg Kolpashchikov
+7 906 810 2288

The head of the humanitarian projects:
Artyom Mamylin
+7 912 642 6903