Russian yacht sets Arctic sailing record

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A Russian yacht has returned to St Petersburg after setting a new record with a round-the-world voyage through the Arctic Ocean.

The Peter the First set off in June and successfully circumnavigated the icy waters in just one navigation season.

This was a first for a surface ship, the Arctic being the shortest and most dangerous round-the-world route.

It took the seven yachtsmen 109 days to sail 9023 nautical miles around the ocean. They survived a seven-grade storm in the Barents Sea, and sailed three thousand nautical miles amid heavy ice floes.

The navigation season is short in the Arctic, lasting as a rule from July to the end of September. Icebound ships have sometimes to wait days for getting a chance to pass to clear waters.

Yacht captain Daniil Gavrilov said the trip was hard, especially when they had to sail through the thick ice.

"When we first saw the ice, we were pointing fingers at it - look, it's ice - but that was a small piece of ice floating in the ocean. And then we had three or four weeks when there were no signs of water around us up to the horizon." Gavrilov said.