Norwegian, Russian race around the North Pole

The Norwegian and the Russian race around the North Pole.

One Russian and one Norwegian sailing yacht will this summer try to be the first to sail both the North East and North West Passage in one season.

The Norwegian trimaran started in Oslo in June and is now on its way around the coast of Finnmark in Northern Norway. On board are the famous Norwegian explorer Børge Ousland and three other crew members.

- The expedition will be a visual picture of the rapid on-going climate changes, said Børge Ousland to the newpaper Nordlys before the boat left the Norwegian Polar capital Tromsø earlier this week. No-one has ever managed to sail around the North Pole before in one season.

But, simultaneously as the Norwegian boat “Northern Passage” entered the Barents Sea, another sailing yacht with the same aim, the Russian “Peter 1” sailed into Murmansk. “Peter 1” started from St. Petersburg earlier this summer. On board are captain Daniel Gavrilov and a crew of six. When “Peter 1” sails out from Murmansk, they hope to sail both the North East and North West passage during the summer and autumn.

Read alsoWelcome to the new Arctic

The Norwegian vessel is expected to arrive in Murmansk on July 20th.
According to Oceans Explorerweb, the Russian sailing boat is better prepared to meet ice than the Norwegian vessel. “Peter 1” has a steel hull, insulation and engine power; while the Norwegian vessel will have to do all they can to avoid ice.

The Arctic is nothing new for the crew on board the Norwegian vessel. Børge Ousland has more than 20 years experience with expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. He was the first one to go to the North Pole without re-supplying. He was also the first to cross the Antarctic continent alone.

You can follow the blogs of both the Russian and Norwegian expeditions as the race goes on.