Hannah White - Speedbird

Bid to become fastest woman over one mile

Wednesday May 27th 2015, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

Sailor and broadcaster, Hannah White today launched her bid to become the fastest woman on water over one nautical mile when she unveiled her latest venture: Project Speedbird.

Aboard Speedbird, in effect a purpose-built 'large Moth', Hannah will attempting to become the first woman to ever take the sailing speed record above 40 knots.

Speedbird is on display at the Science Museum in London from 26-28 May enabling Hannah and her team to give people the opportunity to see the boat and find out more about the technology into her. This comes at a good time of year, with this period coinciding with half term.

Speedbird has been designed and built by Dave Chisholm, who commented: “If you want to break records, you have to do things differently. High-speed sailing is an ancient art however, if you have no rule books or guidelines to work from, you have to use and trust your own research, thoughts and ideas. Combine these with technology and you can then develop ideas into tangible forms and manufacturing components in titanium and carbon fibre. We have been lucky to have had access to our partner Land Rover’s engineering expertise and technology to enable us to fine tune our designs to give us the best possible shot at breaking this record.”

In order to prepare for this record Hannah has been learning how to sail a Moth, similar in design to Speedbird. Hannah will be training with a number of athletes and professional sailors currently competing on the Extreme Sailing Series, but will also need to drop 4-6 kg and build new muscle groups to have enough strength to sail such a fast boat. She is on a strict regime that includes over 10 sessions a week with around 15 hours of sailing and 8 hours in the gym.

Speaking about Project Speedbird, Hannah said: "I knew this was an ambitious project both technologically and physically when we set out to break the women’s speed sailing record. I knew the key to success would be securing the support of partners, like Land Rover, who are world leaders in the innovation and expertise required to streamline Speedbird into a record-breaking machine.

“I am enormously grateful for the support of all of our partners as they will give me the competitive edge required to secure and harness the ultimate advantage over the elements to push the boundaries of this project and achieve a world record."

After the event at the Science Museum, Hannah will be attempting to make the first crossing of the English Channel in a Moth setting off from Cap de Gris, France to Folkestone, England in early June (depending on weather conditions). She will then be exhibiting Speedbird in Cardiff at the Extreme Sailing Series presented by Land Rover over 19-21 June.


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