The graceful old sailing ship Statsraad Lehmkuhl, one of Norway’s three best-known Tall Ships, won another distinction this week. Never before has a sailing ship sailed so far in such a short time as Statsraad Lehmkuhl did on Sunday.
The vessel won this year’s Tall Ships Races in August, but that victory almost pales in comparison to its most recent performance. The vessel, currently in the North Atlantic on its way back to Norway from the US, sailed 1,556 nautical miles in 124 hours. Its average speed was higher than 12.5 knots.
“This is first and foremost an incredible feat, that we managed to sail so far, so fast, at this time of year,” Captain Marcus Seidl told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) via satellite telephone from the vessel’s position at sea. “We think it’s a world record, when compared with all other earlier measurements.”
The crew has reported the speed and distance in to Sail Training International, to see whether it qualifies for a world record.
Seidl called the voyage “extraordinary,” adding that “in my 30 years on board, I’ve never experienced anything like it.” He said it was a result of good sailing conditions, a good crew and “some good luck.” It came just after the Statsraad Lehmkuhl and her crew had also just won a prize, the Boston Teapot Trophy, for having sailed the longest distance, 1,263 nautical miles, in 124 hours in 2016.
Now they’ve sailed much farther in the same amount of time. “This rounds off a fabulous year for Statsraaden,” Haakon Vatle, director of the foundation behind the vessel, Stiftelsen Seilskipet Statsraad Lehmkuhl, told NRK.
The vessel plans a triumphant return to Bergen on December 10. “We’re going to give them a proper welcome when they get here,” Vatle said. “We’ll light a Christmas tree on the mast and the cadets will be up there singing.”