Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Speed Dream

In 2008 world-renowned adventurer Richard Branson tried to break the current transatlantic monohull sailing record of 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds on his 100’ Super-Maxi yacht Virgin Money, but had to abandon his attempt when the boat started to break apart in the middle of the ocean.

So, is it possible to beat what Branson calls 'one of the greatest records of all'? Can a sailboat reach speeds in excess of 50 knots in stormy open-ocean conditions? Is it possible to cover 1,000 miles in a single day under wind power alone? Can the performance gap between offshore monohulls and multihulls be bridged?

Radical boat designer Vlad Murnikov believes the answer to all of these questions is yes and is assembling a new international team of designers, engineers, adventurers, and sponsors to prove it. 'The SpeedDream Team,' says Murnikov, 'will comprise specialists with diverse expertise in offshore racing yachts like Volvo 70 and Open 60, multihull and powerboat design, hydrodynamics, structural engineering, and advanced composites.'

The team's two-year quest is to build the fastest monohull sailboat on the planet. 'Not simply to beat the existing transatlantic record,' Murnikov says, 'but to shatter it by more than a day! And then we'll go on to challenge other world records like the transpacific and nonstop circumnavigation records.'

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