Making SpeedDream a reality

Photos; Brian Hancock/SpeedDream
Designer Vladislav Murnikov talks us through the nuts and bolts of his radical creation
Aside from the AC72s, prize for the coolest boat to be launched in 2012 must go to SpeedDream. While the project aspires to build an ocean-going maxi, in October they launched a 27ft long prototype. SpeedDream’s concept comes from US-based Russian Vladislav Murnikov, who first came on to our radar as a designer of Fazisi, the Russian entry in the 1989-90 Whitbread Round the World Race. Since Skip Novak and the Russian crew got their radical maxi around the world, Murnikov has since taken up residence in the USA where from time to time he has conjured up new designs, most notably the MX-Ray singlehanded skiff. The common thread though from Fazisi through to SpeedDream is that Murnikov’s boats have been decidedly radical. Initial inspiration for SpeedDream came Murnikov says came when he was following Team Russia in the 2008-9 Volvo Ocean Race, a race during which Ericsson 4 set the present monohull 24 hour record of 596.6 miles. “With Fazisi our biggest day run was 386 miles,” he recalls. “I was watching on the computer how Ericsson 4 made 600 miles a day - for a monohull it was unbelievable, more than 50% faster than what we did 20 years before. Then I thought, if progress continues the same way, then in 20 years time a monohull will be able to cover 900 miles. Then I thought, I will be too old by then - why wait another 20 years?! So I started sketching...” While SpeedDream as an overall concept is one radical-looking boat, Murnikov points out that if you look at each of its individual component parts, most have been tried before in other areas of yachting or powerboating: “What we did is analyse everything going on in multihulls and powerboats and we took what is best, combined it and developed