Going Where No Race Boat Has Gone Before

Published on September 8th, 2015

Chinese skipper Guo Chuan, leading an international crew on a 97-foot trimaran, set sail on September 3 from Russia to attempt the first non-stop sailing world record along the Northeast Passage from Murmansk to the Bering Strait between Alaska (USA) and Russia. Here’s an update on September 8…

Before we complete the Arctic Ocean Northeast passage non-stop sailing world record challenge, we might have already set another record as our trimaran Qingdao China was at 78°33’25 North at 14h00 UTC today, a distance of 1271 km from the North pole (686 miles).

According to our weather expert Christian Dumard’s knowledge, it is the first time ever a racing boat sails so far north….a big surprise for us. Before Christian sent us the information, we thought it was just the most northern part of our journey.

We have finished half of our voyage already. Today we celebrated with Chinese moon cakes and Russian Vodka. Thankfully the winds were quite light today as we had strong fog, and with some ice on the radar along the way, it was not in visible range.

Later on we noticed ice directly ahead on the radar. We came near very slowly until we could see it. A beautiful ‘icecube’ directly ahead. The boat is not easy to manoeuvre with so little wind and suddenly we drifted directly towards the ice – slowly but steady. We made a turn and managed to drive around the ice.

In the evening we got some more wind so that we could make at least 10kn.

One funny story: Sergey Nizovtsev mixed up two water containers and made the meal with saltwater. Guo asked “Oh that tastes different. Is it a special flavor?” He needed a lot of chocolate to get his taste balanced afterwards.

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