A few weeks back I posted a story about how Norwegian explorers Børge Ousland and Thorleif Thorleifsson were preparing to attempt to circumnavigate the North Pole by sailing through both the Northeast and Northwest Passages. Now, ExWeb is saying that they may have some competition in the race to become the first people to achieve that feat.
According to the story, a Russian crew set off on the exact same day as Børge and Thorleif on their own circumnavigation attempt. The Russian’s are sailing in a 60-foot long sailing ship called the Peter 1, which is captained by Daniel Gavrilov and his crew of six.
The Peter 1 first sailed to Grimstad in Norway to chat with Trond Aasvoll, a Norwegian sailor who has already braved the Northeast Passage. After gaining valuable insights into the Passage, they then set sail along the Norwegian coastline and are making their way to Murmansk, the Russian city that serves as the check-in point for their first challenge, the Northeast Passage.
If all goes as planned, both crews will sail through the region in August, and exit in time for the opening of the Northwest Passage, which has traditionally been in September the past few years. The conditions of both waterways will be important for the teams though, as while the Russian ship is designed to be more stable int he water and resist impacts better, the Norwegian vessel is small, fast, and light, and was built with the intention of flitting through the water with more agility.
This expedition was already interesting enough, and now we have a good old fashioned boat race. A little good natured competition between the crews might be kind of fun to watch. It’ll be interesting to see who gets to the finish line first.