Guo Chuan grabs World Record

Knut to step down
Up and running in Genoa
Guo Chuan grabs World Record
Former Volvo Ocean Race participant Guo Chuan has set a World Record this week with his 13-day sail across the treacherous Northeast Passage in the Arctic Ocean from Murmansk, Russia to the Bering Strait.

Guo and his international crew of four sailors and one media crew member, from Germany, Russia and France, set the record when they officially crossed the finish line on the Bering Strait at 16:48 UTC on Tuesday, September 15.

During the non-stop sail, the crew faced numerous challenges from icebergs and growlers to powerful winds and freezing temperatures that frequently caused ice to build up on various sections of their 97-foot trimaran 'Qingdao China'.

To prevent any ice damage, the boat was fitted with special Kevlar protection while the team kept vigilant eye on the waters ahead throughout the two weeks.

The day before the finish, the crew was forced to take down the entire mainsail to repair a broken car on the mainsail track.

But Guo persevered to the finish, much like he did in 2008-09 when Guo first circumnavigated the world’s oceans as the Onboard Reporter with Irish-Chinese entry Green Dragon, skippered by Ian Walker.

"I’m so on the top of the world. It’s such an unbelievable moment,” he said after the finish.

“Even two months ago, I wouldn’t have imagined I could have a moment like this. It is a moment that could only happen in a dream. I feel very proud of myself and my crew.”

During the voyage, Qingdao China reached maximum speed of 37 knots on September 4, and covered 466 miles during one 24-hour stretch between September 4 and September 5 with an average speed 19.43 knots.

The official departure time was 13:41 UTC on September 3. The record will now be validated by the World Sailing Speed Record Council.

“It was a challenging and tough journey, especially as we were surrounded by ice and gusts under the extreme cold weather,” said Guo.

“The boat was bumping like a roller-coaster sometimes and seemed totally out of control. For several times, when we were in a very difficult situation, I was suspect whether we could go further.

"But thanks to our determination and all brave and excellent crew, we overcome the difficult time together and finally made it."

For Guo, the experience and character gained during the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 were again put to the test during his Arctic Ocean sail.

The feat is Guo’s second major record. In 2013, Guo became the first Chinese man to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.

To watch how Guo and his crew snatched the record, click here.