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Staying the course in international cooperation

At this rather complex time in international affairs, a recent story from the world of sailing provides an inspiring example of global cooperation to anyone, be they in the world of business, politics or sport.

A trimaran named Qingdao China from the port of the same name – captained by the Chinese skipper Guo Chuan – has become the first ever racing boat to travel through the Arctic Northeast Passage (Scuttlebutt).

This record-breaking thirteen-day journey from Murmansk to the Bering Strait demonstrates what is possible when individuals from diverse backgrounds pool their resources.

As captain Guo himself reported:

“Several times, when we were in a very difficult situation, I wondered if we could continue. But thanks to our determination and brave and excellent crew, we overcame the difficult times together and finally made it.”

The crew was made up of members spanning the full length of Eurasia. Guo was accompanied by two Frenchmen, a German and a Russian. Indeed, as well as being the closest thing to a ‘local’ on the expedition, the Russian veteran yachtsman Sergei Nizovtsev was an ideal choice for this undertaking.

With years of experience in Arctic waters, Nizovtsev recently captained a boat named the Scorpius on a two and half year, 70,000-mile expedition to visit both the North and South Poles organised jointly between Russia and Ukraine. As Voice of Russia reported at the time, the Scorpius even disappeared for four days in the ice, short of fuel and supplies. By force of will, the Russo-Ukrainian crew battled through this setback, showing, as the more recent Guo Chuan voyage did, what can be achieved through international cooperation.

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