Kyiv City Olympic Reserve and Sailing School Obolon Bay Ask for Yuriy Hryhorovych Tel. 411-03-11
Kyiv Boat Club
Matvevskiy Zatoka
Ask for Anatoliy Maistrenko
Tel. 224-24-98 or 8-050-257-4571
Pivdenny Yacht Club
Kaniv Sea Nova Ukrayinka
Ask for Volodymyr Oleksiyovych or Hryhoriy Holembievskiy
Tel. 419-04-56 or 483-51-48
Kyiv Cruising Club
Left Bank, between the Paton Bridge and the Pivdenny Bridge Tel. 574-79-86
Kyiv Sea 'Junior' Yacht Club
Vyshgorod, Hrysty Yar
Tel. 230-7635
Kyiv Yacht Club
Obolon Ask for Pete O'Brien
Tel. 201-9652
Pioneer Yacht Club
Druzhby Narodiv park (near district Raduzhny)
Tel. 230-75-17

1. yachtsman.org
2. www.ocean.ru
3. www.fedor.muh.ru
4. www.viktoryazykov.org
5. www.andrewsyacht.com

Sailing in Kyiv Making the most of the River Dnipro

There's nothing quite like messing about on boats, is there? And Kyiv has got to be one of the most impressive mainland capital cities in Europe when it comes to the opportunities for trying your hand at sailing. Whether you're looking to rediscover the thrills of taking a one-man boat out for a spin or you're just after a day on the river with friends and a spot of shashlyk on a deserted Dnipro island, Kyiv can offer you the lot.
Ukrainians, as it goes, are great sailors. Maybe it's the old Viking blood, but they've
always excelled. Over the years, in fact, Ukrainians have claimed more sailing medals at Olympic level than just about any other country. Consequently, you'll find a selection of yacht clubs across town and beyond, that should be able to meet your every sailing need.
Any of the clubs and boathouses listed below offer yachts for rent at very reasonable prices. Your selection will probably be more dependent on convenience and what you're looking for than price, as it's unlikely that you'll be asked for more than around 10$ a head for a day on the river at any Kyiv establishment. Unsurprisingly, very few captains are keen to lend their boats out unsupervised, no matter how experienced the customer claims to be, so you'll probably be accompanied by an expert, but it still doesn't hurt to orient yourself about the Dnipro in general and the risks involved, minor though they are.
In general terms, to the south of Kyiv you'll find much quieter waters and all manner of deserted islands, whereas to the north lies cleaner water and, beyond the Vyshgorod dam, the vast expanses of the Kyiv Sea. There are a few other tricks to the Dnipro, too. The Desna, a tributary river north of Obolon, is narrow and hard to navigate, but legend has it that here's where you'll find the cleanest water in the Kyiv region. Ideal, in other words, for putting down the anchor and
having a little swim. The river is riddled with sandbanks which are notoriously difficult to spot, so stay central and keep your eyes peeled. Your captain's experience will be crucial, but even old hands can slip up. Watch out for weeds, which only grow in around a metre of water, which should tip you off as to the location of the sandbanks. Watch out as well for overhead cables. There are many along the Dnipro, and they are potentially deadly. Already once this year one accident saw a yacht mast collide with a 40,000 watt cable that had recently been lowered, resulting in the deaths of two crew members.
Finding a club is not difficult, with a variety to choose from. The Kyiv City Olympic Reserve and Sailing School, as the name suggests, trains top-level yachtsmen who regard the sport as more profession than pastime. Situated out in Obolon, the yacht club occupies a barren spot of bank opposite the grey mass of the massif. Fifteen years ago the whole region was totally undeveloped, but these days your view is distinctly spoilt by the towering housing estates nearby. One plus is the Africa beach bar to the right of the club, with its pumping house music and waterside tables making it the ideal location to wind down after a day on the river.
The club has plans to offer training for beginners from September 5. Students from 9 years old upwards are invited to enrol. The club specialises in small, sporty yachts, and is popular with serious enthusiasts. The newly formed Kyiv Yacht Club, led by Stateside sailing enthusiast and What's On cover model Pete O'Brien, chose this Obolon joint as their base camp because, as he put it, "The people here know what they're talking about, and they're a really great bunch of people." The boats, many of which are fairly sea-worthy Latvian copies of American models, are available at very reasonable prices. Call the club for further details. Pivdenny Yacht Club, located south of Kyiv beyond Nova Ukrayinka, is probably the finest spot in the area to head for if you're looking to get away from it all and maybe indulging in a spot of shashlyking. They offer cruising yachts for hire, complete with instructors. The club boasts training for amateurs and experts, in winter concentrating on theory (obviously) while in the long summer months training you up on the river.
The Kyiv Sea is the spot for more serious sailors looking to get involved in competitive sailing. The Kyiv racing scene is based around the Kyiv Sea, and you'll find that standards are extremely high. At the recent Kyiv Cup regatta held up there, the field included one Olympic gold medallist, and two people who'd claimed high positions in the last world championships. The racing scene is very sociable, and you'll find everyone from government ministers to expats and Olympic hopefuls making up the pack. If you'd like to get involved but are unable get a team together or find yourself a yacht, don't worry. Just put word out among the boat clubs, that you're looking to join a crew, and are willing to contribute to the running costs of the yacht and they'll probably be falling over each other to take you on-board. The Kyiv Yacht Club is the most international of sailing establishments in town, and is the brainchild of American Pete O'Brien. O'Brien sailed regularly during his college days Stateside, and since coming to Kyiv has found the pull of the mighty Dnipro just too strong to resist. At present they have four one-man yachts in the style of American Laser yachts, and hope to increase their fleet to double figures by the end of summer. So there you have it. Anchors up and we're off. A veritable water wonderland awaits you. And never, ever, complain that there's nothing to do in Kyiv again. Okay?