Volvo Ocean Race - Team Russia

Gunwharf Quays Marina in Portsmouth (UK) hosted the official christening ceremony for Team Russia's new Volvo Open 70 class yacht.

On June 28, Orca took part in the largest sporting event in the UK, the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, where it showed the second actual time.

The culmination of the events dedicated to the launch of Team Russia's new Volvo Open 70 class yacht was the official christening ceremony, which took place on June 16 at Gunwharf Quays Marina in Portsmouth (UK). The yacht was named "Orca". These marine creatures symbolize for the team the power, speed and ability to work together as a team. The godmother of the yacht was Birgitta Westerberg, who, like Oleg Zherebtsov, is the founder of the Solntse charitable foundation for helping homeless children in St. Petersburg.

More than 100 guests attended the ceremony dedicated to the christening of the Orca, including business partners and friends of the head of the Team Russia syndicate, Oleg Zherebtsov. They all saw the message that would accompany the team as they navigated the Volvo Ocean Race around the world: "We go to sea for the whales."

Team Russia and WDCS, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, have formed a partnership to once again demonstrate to the world the need to protect these marine animals. Under the motto “We go to sea for the whales”, Team Russia and WDCS will contribute to a campaign to create 12 marine reserves in the habitats of whales and dolphins by 2012.

The route of the Volvo Ocean Race itself passes through many whale and dolphin habitats. Starting in Alicante (Spain) in October 2008 and finishing in St. Petersburg (Russia) in June 2009, the Volvo Open 70 fleet will sail through 11 ports in 10 countries over the 9 months of the regatta.

Since the launch of Team Russia's Volvo Open 70 class, designed by Rob Humphreys and built by Green Marine, her design has attracted interest from professionals. In the bow of the yacht, on each side, there are a pair of developed mudguards, which provide additional lift on the courses following the wind, and also reduce the amount of water flooding the deck. Using this innovation, the team expects to gain some advantage. “Over the next few weeks, we plan to take to the open sea to test the yacht in conditions close to “combat” and make sure the effectiveness of our solution. We are counting on positive results, based on the tests of the yacht models in the experimental pool,” says Andreas Hanakamp.

Team Russia showed the second actual time in the race around the Isle of Wight

On June 28, the new Team Russia boat took part in the JPMorgan Asset Management Round the Island Race. This is the largest sporting event in the UK, in which about 16 thousand yachtsmen participate, and in terms of the number of participating yachts, this race is second only to the famous Italian regatta Barcolana. "Orca" demonstrated its predatory nature for the first time during the competition. With a breezy West-South-West set in during the morning, she outpaced the Open 60 class maxi yacht Zana and Hugo Boss to finish second in IRC Group 0 and in the entire fleet of monohulls.

The only boat to beat the Orca was Mike Slide's 100-foot maxi ICAP Leopard, which completed the 50-mile race in a record time of 12 minutes. breaking the previous record set in 2001. After finishing, his yacht continued to complete the circuit around the Isle of Wight and officially register the new record with the World Speed Sailing Record Council.

The night before, the Killer Whale had left its new base in Portland in time for the starting shot at six in the morning. Starting in a dense group of IRC 0 yachts, Team Russia began to make its way towards the Needles rocks. Soon, thanks to its large dimensions and windage, the maxi ICAP Leopard broke away from the rest of the fleet and was the first to round the Needles, while Zana and the Orca, almost throughout the entire route of the regatta, struggled in conditions of poor visibility.

Zana, right up to the finish line, was in close proximity to the Killer Whale. Hugo Boss yacht gained some advantage before the finish, but thanks to the excellent work of the navigator and well-coordinated work of the team, Team Russia finished second, covering the route in 04:19:02:00.

After the race, Orca skipper Andreas Hanakamp expressed his satisfaction with the work of the team and the speed of the yacht: “This race once again demonstrated to us the capabilities of our boat on any course from tacking to full. The team did well. And it was very interesting to compete with the maxi-yacht Zana. It was a great start for us and we are happy with the work done today.”

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