From Guo Chuan Sailing
Chinese skipper Guo Chuan, leading an international crew of 4 top sailors and one media crew set sail to challenge the non-stop sailing world record along Arctic Ocean Northeast passage today. The super trimaran Qingdao China, named after the port city of China, crossed the start line at 16.41(local time, ie UTC 13.41) to start the exciting world record challenge.
The departure ceremony was held at 10am in front of the pontoon shared by the famous Lenin Icebreaker and Qingdao China. Officials of Murmansk including Grigory Stratiy, Vice Governor of the Murmansk region, representatives from Qingdao and all crew attended the ceremony.
As today is the Chinese memorial day of the70th anniversary of victory of WWII, Guo Chuan expressed his special feelings at the departure ceremony, “we planned to start the extreme challenge on September 3 long time ago according to our weather expert’s advice on sailing in best weather conditions. However, starting our voyage on such a special day with great historic importance makes the journey more meaningful. As the only ‘Chinese Champion’ of ‘Peace and Sport’, I wish our world record challenge could bring the message of peace and sport to more people.”
And Guo Chuan said he is very confident that the challenge would be a success, “we have been working hard for more than two years to make this project happen, and finally today we are going to set sail. I am really excited at the moment. I am pleased that Qingdao China is fully prepared, and all crew are ready to go.Please trust us, because we have such a strong crew of excellent, professional and brave sailors, and receive such great support from you present, from our partners and friends. We are very confident to go now, see you in few weeks’ time”.
After the departure ceremony, Guo Chuan bade his family at the pontoon and joined his crew to start the Arctic extreme challenge. A Russian military band playing encouraging marches, all waved good-bye and bon-voyage when the trimaran left the pontoon.
16.30(local time, ie UTC 13.30), Qingdao China arrived at the race start waters. 16.41(local time, ie UTC 13.41), World Sailing Speed Record Council officially declared the start of Qingdao China‘s Arctic Ocean Northeast passage world record challenge, Qingdao China gradually vanished into boundless sea.The crew were in such good mood that they celebrated with a little drop of Vodka on board.
Due to the strong wind that might arrive from tonight, Qingdao China will change the original planned route to go towards south through the Matochkin Strait from the Barents Sea to the Kara Sea, she will then head eastwards across the Laptev Sea, the Novosibirsk sea and the Chukchi Sea until she finally arrives in the Bering Strait.
Besides skipper Guo Chuan, Qingdao China‘s crew namelist includes Jochen Krauth and Quentin Monegier from France, Boris Herrmann and Tim Bastian Frank (media crew) from Germany and Sergei Nizovtsev from Russia.
A first non-stop sailing world record is expected to be set for the route between Murmansk and Bering Strait along the Northeast Passage. The voyage is about 3300 nms and expected to be completed within two weeks.