Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Team Russia... Record Run

Photos by Matthias Witzany and FSE Robline
(Volvo Ocean Race) Team Russia claimed an unofficial Round Britain and Ireland monohull record in completing an eventful qualifying run for the 2008-09 race.

Kosatka has now made a triumphant return to her base in Portland, on the south coast of England, after six and a half days at sea.

Faced with gale force, southwesterly winds, navigator, skipper Andreas Hanakamp and Wouter Verbraak decided the conditions were ripe for a tilt at the record set by Solune in May 2004 of 7 days, 4 hours, 46 minutes and 22 seconds.

As it transpired, Team Russia shaved 15 hours off that mark. The only sticking point is that the record will not be officially ratified by the world speed council as they did not have a representative inspect the boat before it set off, despite Kosatka recently being measured by the race’s chief measurer, James Dadd.

The first 24 hours were challenging with 40 knot winds gusting up to 50 in the English Channel and Straits of Dover. As the boat began its journey into the North Sea the wind eased.

In the lighter conditions, the crew were able to test the latest generation of sails, evaluate communications equipment and generally brush up on their team work.

The radical spray rails on the bow of the Humphreys-designed Volvo Open 70 lived up to their reputation with noticeable improvement in high speed sailing, but they produce a serious amount of spray. Read more...