Yandex-SpeedDream in the Solent

Radical 27ft prototype will be in Cowes Yacht Haven during Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Tuesday July 30th 2013, Author: Brian Hancock, Location: United Kingdom

24 years ago the Soviet Union’s first (and last) Whitbread Round the World Race (as was) entry, Fazisi was launched and took her maiden voyage on the Solent.

The boat was designed by Vlad Murnikov, a forward thinking naval architect from Moscow. With the hammer and sickle emblazoned on her Soviet ensign, Fazisi caused quite a stir in 1989 in the midst of perestroika. Fast forward almost two and a half decades and Murnikov is back with an equally revolutionary boat.

Yandex-SpeedDream is a quest to build the world’s fastest monohull. SpeedDream is the name of Murnikov’s design and Yandex, the Russian tech giant, is the technology partner to the project. The boat is a 27ft prototype of what Murnikov believes is a breakthrough in modern monohull design. The boat features unique and innovative design attributes including a true wave piercing bow, a lateral step in the hull, a feature found mostly on powerboats, and a keel that cants in excess of 80°. This means that when the boat heels more than 10° the keel bulb exits the water and flies.

Read more about SpeedDream here

“When we arrived all those years ago with Fazisi we were thrilled and excited by the response of the western world to our ‘behind the iron curtain’ project,” recalls Vlad Murnikov. “The support was overwhelming and we really made a huge impact with the boat. Yandex-SpeedDream is nowhere near as big as Fazisi, but the boat is so unique, innovative, and sexy looking that I think she will make as big an impact, capturing just as many hearts as Fazisi did.”

Yandex-SpeedDream will be based on the Isle of Wight at Cowes Yacht Haven and will be demo-sailing during Cowes Week. The skipper is world-renowned sailor Cam Lewis who was the only American on board Bruno Peyron's Commodore Explorer when they became the first boat in history to win the Jules Verne Trophy for circumnavigating the world in less than 80 days. He has also participated in the America’s Cup and has won numerous world championships in dinghies.

“SpeedDream is one of the most unique and interesting boats I have ever sailed,” said Lewis. “Vlad’s mantra that a multihull has to become a monohull before it really starts to pick up speed is right and I think of SpeedDream in a similar way. The boat can be seen as a catamaran with the hull itself as the leeward hull, and the flying keel as the windward hull. No drag and a high righting moment means that the boat really flies.”

Joining Cam as co-skipper is Vladimir 'Kuli' Kulinichenko. Visitors to Cowes Week will be able to see the boat flying its keel from the Esplanade and The Green to the west of the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes.

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