Historical story

Christian Radich:White sailor from Norway

Last updated:2022-07-25

After decades as a training ship, the "Christian Radich" has been in charter service since 1999. Still participates in tall ship meetings and regattas.

The shipowner and cavalry officer Christian Radich did not live to see his dream come true:Nine years before his death, the Norwegian commissioned the construction of a sail training ship - on condition that it would bear his name. He therefore transfers 90,000 Norwegian kroner to a foundation. But when he dies in June 1898, the ship is still not under construction. And it will be many years before the shipowner's wish comes true. It was not until 1937 that the time had finally come. Almost 40 years after Christian Radich's death, the full-rigged ship is launched. The order was placed by the Oslo school ship company, which is financing the ship from the Norwegian's estate.

Happless early years in World War II

The first transatlantic voyage of the training ship took the three-master to New York in 1939, where the world exhibition was taking place. Just one year later, during World War II, the Germans confiscated the "Christian Radich" and used her as a depot ship for U-boat crews. In 1945 the three-master was hit during a bomb attack in Flensburg harbor and sank.

"Christian Radich":career as a cinema and TV star

After the end of the war, the "Christian Radich" was raised and refloated in the Norwegian Sandefjord. She resumed service as a training ship under the Norwegian flag in 1947, and in the 1950s she had a career in the cinema:she was the star of the 1957 documentary "Windjammer:The Voyage of the Christian Radich". The film describes the ship's journey from Oslo across the Caribbean to New York and back home. On its way, the "Christian Radich" also meets the German sailing ship "Pamir" - a fateful encounter:the film crew captures the last pictures of the four-masted barque. A short time later, the "Pamir" gets caught in a storm and sinks. 80 of the 86 crew members are killed.

In the 1970s, the "Christian Radich" took part in the British television series "The Onedin Line", which tells the fictional story of the British captain and shipowner James Onedin in the 19th century. The extremely successful BBC production runs in over 40 countries and can also be seen on the ARD early evening program from 1972.

Right at the forefront of tall ship regattas

The "Christian Radich" under full sail. The ship has already won several tall ship regattas.

From 1980 to 1983 the "Christian Radich" was given a general overhaul in Norway. The owner also changes:A foundation takes over the maintenance, care and use of the ship from the Norwegian Ministry of Education. The former training ship has been used for charter trips since 1999, but continues to take part in tall ship meetings such as the Sail in Bremerhaven and regattas - with success:in 2010 the "Christian Radich" won the long-distance regatta "Tall Ships' Races" in the class for the fifth time A, the class of the largest sailing ships.