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Chinese sailor Guo Chuan, who was the first Chinese to take part in the Volvo Ocean Race in 2008-09, is gunning for another offshore landmark over the next few weeks.

Along with a crew of four and one media crew member, Guo is attempting a non-stop sailing world record along the Arctic Ocean’s Northeast Passage.

The 97-foot trimaran “Qingdao China”, named after the port city in China that hosted the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in 2008-09, crossed the start line late on Thursday afternoon in Murmansk, Russia and has already traveled over 1000 nautical miles in the first few days at sea.

The World Sailing Speed Record Council officially declared the start of Qingdao China’s Arctic Ocean Northeast Passage world record challenge as 1641 local time (1341 UTC) on Thursday.

The crew plans to sail the entire Northeast Passage non-stop from Murmansk to the Bering Strait between Alaska (U.S.A) and Russia, the quickest route from Europe to the Pacific, while expecting to set the first non-stop sailing world record for the passage in the process.

The voyage is about 3,300 nautical miles and expected to be completed within two weeks.

Along with skipper Guo Chuan, Qingdao China’s crew includes Frenchmen Jochen Krauth (Baie de Quiberon) and Quentin Monegier (La Trinité-sur-Mer), Germans Boris Herrmann (Kiel) and media crew Tim Bastian Frank (Hamburg), and Sergei Nizovtsev from Russia.

Guo first circumnavigated the world’s oceans as the onboard reporter with Irish-Chinese entry Green Dragon. 

For the Qingdao, China-native who only started sailing in his thirties, it was his first real taste of offshore, around-the-world sailing – and he was clearly hooked.

In 2013, Guo made headlines again when he became the first Chinese skipper to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe, taking 137 days, 20 hours, 1 minute and 57 seconds to sail over 21,600 miles in his Class 40 boat.

Check out this cool video as Guo's challenge gets underway.