With 23 Norwegian entries in the ARC this year, it was great to see the beautiful old sailing ship Christian Radich, The Norwegian Sail Training Ship in Las Palmas harbour before she crosses the Atlantic and heads to the Caribbean.
Norwegian participants in the ARC fleet and World Cruising ‘yellow shirts’, Cecilie and Patrik were invited to visit the 73m three masted ship which first crossed the Atlantic in 1937, the year of her launch.
Christian Radich, who won the 2010 Tall Ships Race, last crossed the Atlantic in 2001. This time she will sail with 90 passengers on board, 15 of which are fulltime crew. Such a large crew is necessary to help work the 14,600 sq ft (1,360 m2) and 27 sails carried on board. If you laid out all the 200 ropes on board in a line, they would total 9 km long and each has its own name!
Christian Radich was a cavalry officer, managing director of a sawmill and ship owner in Kristiania (now Oslo) - and a great sail training ship enthusiast. In 1884 he donated NOK 90.000 to the building of a new sailing training ship.
The ship has had a dramatic history as a sail training ship since its launch in 1937. Since 1999 the ship has divided its time between the charter market, sightseeing tours, summer trips to foreign ports with paying trainees on board, the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races and large sailing events in various European ports.
The Christian Radich was originally well known through her appearance in the 1958 film Windjammer and she also appeared in the 1970s BBC TV series The Onedin Line as one of James Onedin's ships.