Kosatka attempts to beat the Round Britain and Ireland record during Volvo qualifier

Kosatka is making great progress on its quest to unofficially beat the Round Britain and Ireland record for a monohull during its Volvo Race Qualifier.

At 0910 BST yesterday the boat was making their way steadily north east, making the most of the wind. Skipper Andreas Hanakamp sent an update from the boat: “There was lots of pressure in the air when we left Portland Harbour to cover the 2000 mile qualifying sail Volvo requires from teams wishing to sail the Volvo Ocean Race. Steady 40kts, gusting even higher, let us start with 2 reefs in the main and a jib top heading east. Just the head of the jib top ripped off soon after we set off, the load distribution between sail and its cable was not perfect, giving Ben (the sailmaker) a job for the rest of the day.”

“The English Channel lay past us in eight hours. At sunset we passed through the Dover Straits under a full moon, with the breeze slightly easing and the waves easing off. We changed for the A6 and later for a reaching fractional as the breeze headed.”

“The boat is soaking wet as are we. We are in the middle of the North Sea having covered 370 miles since Portland. Ahead we expect the wind to become lighter before filling in from the SE.”

Team Russia started its 2000 nm qualifier today from Portland in gale force south westerly winds gusting up to 40 knots – perfect to test the boat and crew in preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race.

Navigator Wouter Verbraak and skipper Andreas Hanakamp decided the conditions were ideal to attempt to beat the Round Britain and Ireland non-stop record in a monohull. Starting the course off Ventnor, south of the Isle of Wight at 1113 Wednesday morning, the Team were disappointed to hear that the officials at the World Speed Council were not going to recognise the attempt as they did not inspect Kosatka or observed it as it set off. Inspection and testing by VOR chief measurer on Monday apparently did not count.

But the crew are to go for the ‘unofficial’ record anyway. They are aiming to beat the current time of 7 days, 4 hours, 46 minutes and 22 seconds set by Solune, a 60ft French monohull in May 2004.

Conditions look favourable for the ‘unofficial’ record. They are travelling anti-clockwise around the British Isles in plenty of wind.

To follow Kosatka, visit www.teamrussia.org .