Russian government assists British yachtsman in bid to make sailing history


British yachtsman Adrian Flanagan, 46 is ready to make sailing history. During July and August he will attempt to sail the first ever single-handed transit along Russia’s Northern Sea Route.

Flanagan set out on the Alpha Global Expedition, his quest to sail the first single-handed ‘vertical’ circumnavigation of the globe, on 28th October 2005. He has so far covered 26,000 miles going west around Cape Horn to Nome, Alaska where his boat has spent the Arctic winter.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who achieved the first single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation in 1969, has described Flanagan’s Alpha Global Expedition as, ‘A serious challenge’.

Expedition Manager and Flanagan’s ex-wife, Louise says, ‘The Alpha Global Expedition Arctic Phase is the greatest challenge of the voyage. The Russian Government has shown vision and imagination in granting Adrian unprecedented access to their territorial waters’.

Only 4 yachts have ever made the Arctic transit on the Russian side – French, German, Irish and Russian, but none of these was single-handed. If successful, Flanagan’s 40ft stainless steel sloop, ‘Barrabas’ will become the first British boat to join this group.

Flanagan’s route will take him westwards from the port of Provideniya along Russia’s Arctic coast. The distance from Provideniya to the UK is 4,800 miles. The first 2,000 miles towards Proliv Vil’kitskogo will be through ice-strewn waters.

‘I am grateful to the government of the Russian Federation. I feel privileged to be given this opportunity not only to achieve my personal goal but also to bring greater awareness to the British public of environmental concerns affecting the Arctic region,’ Flanagan said.

The navigable window in the high Arctic is very short and if Flanagan clears the ice fields he should be mooring up at The Royal Southern Yacht Club in the Hamble River in early September.