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Hannah White sets new singlehanded record across the English Channel

By Land Rover Sailing

Hannah White crosses the English Channel solo in a record time of 3 hours 44 minutes Photo © Anthony Cullen

Hannah White crosses the English Channel solo in a record time of 3 hours 44 minutes
Photo © Anthony Cullen

Hannah White, Land Rover Global Ambassador, has become the fastest person to cross the Channel in a single-handed dinghy. She completed the gruelling task in an International Moth. Starting from Cap de Gris in France, she landed in Dover, England, after crossing the 24 mile English channel in a record time of 3 hours, 44 minutes and 39 seconds.

Hannah, a relative beginner in hydrofoil sailing, only started to learn how to master this unique boat in February. Training for this Channel crossing challenge is a precursor to her ultimate quest: to break the Women’s Speed Sailing World Record over one nautical mile next year in a unique, purpose-built sailing hydrofoil.

A keen adventurer, Hannah has previously sailed the Atlantic solo three times, participated in the gruelling Haute Route Cycle Race across the French Alps and kayaked 205 miles across the rivers of England. She has been a Land Rover Global Ambassador since 2013.

Hannah White said: “I’m much more used to an arduous 3000-mile slog across oceans as opposed to a 24-mile sprint across the Channel, so the transition has been a real eye-opener. Speed sailing requires a very different physiology to long distance races, so this was really an opportunity for me to build my skills over a shorter distance in a hydrofoiling boat”.

Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Experiential Marketing Director said: “This Channel crossing highlights Hannah’s incredible ability to push herself beyond the limits of normal capability. As a global ambassador for Land Rover, Hannah embodies all the characteristics that are so central to our brand; strength, determination and an ability to go above and beyond.”

Hannah will be attempting to break the Women’s Speed Sailing Record over one nautical mile in the first quarter of 2016 in Speedbird, her state-of-the-art, unique hydrofoil sailboat. Land Rover is collaborating in the development of the Speedbird boat, drawing from its unparalleled innovation, engineering expertise and industry-leading facilities to ensure the boat is capable of breaking the current world record.

Hannah will be exhibiting the Speedbird boat at the Cardiff Act of the Extreme Sailing Series™ on the 18-21 June 2015.

The Fastest Woman On Water

hanna white
In 2015, Hannah White will attempt to make history. In a purpose-built, state of the art machine, Hannah aims to not only break the women’s speed record over one nautical mile, but become the first woman to ever set that record above the 40 knot barrier.

To achieve this, Project Speedbird will bring together technological and engineering innovation with Hannah’s determination and physical ability. Every aspect will require intense training and optimisation. Every element pushed to peak performance. The question will be answered: how fast can she go?

The Boat

hanna white's boat

The design of Project Speedbird will herald a new era in speed sailing, where high tech art meets the science of speed.

A specialist team of the world’s best boat designers, engineers and builders will produce a purpose-built speed machine using the latest technological advances developed by F1, the America’s Cup and Moto GP teams.

The 6 metre boat will be designed to maximise performance over a short, straight distance. The hull will be incredibly light – weighing just 8kg – providing an exceptional power to weight ratio. An advanced, carbon composite foil will lift the aerodynamically (not hydrodynamically) designed hull one metre out of the water. Project Speedbird will literally fly over the water.

More about Hannah’s project