Attempt to sail Northeast Passage across Arctic begins

After two years of planning, a trimaran is sailing across the Arctic Sea to the Bering Strait in an attempt to set a non-stop sailing record for the route from Europe to the Pacific.

MURMANSK, RUSSIA AND AT SEA (SEPTEMBER 2-4, 2015) (VOLVO OCEAN RACE) – A trimaran skippered by China’s Guo Chuan crossed the start line on Thursday (September 3) and set out on a journey of about 3300 nautical miles to cross the Arctic Sea from Murmansk to the Bering Strait.

The super trimaran “Qingdao China” rapidly travelled over 1000 nautical miles in the first few days at sea.

The crew, Jochen Krauth and Quentin Monegier of France, Boris Herrmann and Tim Bastian Frank of Germany, and Sergei Nizovtsev from Russia, joined Guo Chuan on the dock as Murmansk celebrated the venture and then gave them a musical send-off.

Organisers said the World Sailing Speed Record Council officially declared the start of Qingdao China’s Arctic Ocean Northeast Passage world record challenge at 13:41gmt on September 3. The crew plans to sail the entire Northeast Passage non-stop from Murmansk to the Bering Strait, which divides Russia and USA’s Alaska. This would be the first non-stop sailing record for the route from Europe to the Pacific. The crew hope it to be completed within two weeks.

Frenchman Quentin Monegier took an important radio call early in the attempt. He was anxious for news of his wife who was due to give birth. He received the congratulations of the rest of the crew after discovering he was the father of a baby boy, named Lucien.