16 September 2015: Inmarsat congratulates Guo Chuan and his five crew from Germany, France and Russia, on successfully sailing non-stop in a racing trimaran for the first time in history, through the Arctic Ocean Northeast passage.
Taking just 13 days to complete the journey, the Guo Chuan Racing team sailed across 3,240 nautical miles of treacherous waters, from Murmansk to the Bering Straits, encountering strong winds, growlers, icebergs and extreme cold weather conditions along the way.
Throughout the adventure, Inmarsat and MCN Beijing provided Guo with vital mobile satellite connectivity and safety services, via Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband 250 and FleetBroadband 500 flagship voice and broadband date service, and an Inmarsat IsatPhone handheld mobile satellite phone.
This enabled the crew to maintain constant contact with the onshore support team, share regular updates and photos of their journey on Twitter, Facebook and the challenge website, and stay in touch with family back home.
This was especially important for French crew member Quentin Monegier, who was able to make a phone call home to find he was the proud father of a new baby boy, and receive a photo of his son, thanks to Inmarsat’s connectivity.
“I feel very proud of myself and my crew. It is a challenging and tough journey, especially when we were surrounded by ice and gusts under the extreme cold weather,” said Guo.
“The boat was bumping like a roller-coaster sometimes and seemed totally out of control. For several times, when we were in a very difficult situation, I suspected whether we could go further. But thanks to our determination and all the brave and excellent crew, we overcame the difficult time together and finally made it.”
Guo is the first professional offshore sailor in China and an iconic figurehead in his country. He is also the first Chinese ‘peace champion’ for Peace and Sport, a global initiative which works to promote sport as a tool for peace.
Guo’s impressive sailing achievements include participating in the Clipper Round the World Race in 2006 and completing the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 edition.
In addition, he set the world record for a solo, non-stop circumnavigation of the globe in a Class 40 monohull in 2013, and Inmarsat was proud to have supported him on this inaugural challenge too.