Spanish sailor Jose Luis Ugarte on Sunday set sail from this southern Spanish city bound for Japan in a replica model of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan's 16th Century galleon Victoria
SEVILLE, Spain, Oct 12 (AFP) - Spanish sailor Jose Luis Ugarte on Sunday
set sail from this southern Spanish city bound for Japan in a replica model of
Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan's 16th Century galleon Victoria.
The replica vessel was built for the 1992 Seville Expo and, if it reaches
Japan without mishap, will be a part of the Spanish pavilion in the World Expo
2005 in the Japanese city of Aichi from March to September next year.
The original Victoria left Seville on the Guadalquivir river in 1519, while
the modern-day version, measuring 25.9 by 6.7 metres (87 by 23 feet),
underwent six months of work ahead of its odyssey, which began on Spain's
Ugarte, 75, told a news conference in Bilbao last week he wants to emulate
Magellan and Juan Sebastian Del Cano, the Spanish captain who won his place in
history by skippering the original Victoria back to Europe after Magellan was
killed in the Philippines in 1521 without making it to Japan.
Elcano died in 1526 attempting a second round-the-world voyage.
Ugarte's boat is a faithful replica of the original, down to its 16th
Century navigational instruments, though it is equipped with a motor.
The replica will head for the Panama Canal and hopes to reach the Mexican
Pacific coast resort of Acapulco by year's end.
After heading on to Japan via Hawaii Ugarte's ship is due in Japan by March
and is successively to put into port at Nagoya, Kobe, Osaka, Nagasaki, Ise,
Yokohama and Tokyo prior to the Expo.
Ugarte and his crew will return via Shanghai following the Expo as they bid
to publicise the Spanish pavilion to Expo 2010, which the Chinese metropolis
is to host.