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At the Speed of White

Britain’s Hannah White is an all-action kind of girl who more than lives up to her bio’s description of her as a ‘broadcaster, sailor and adventurer’. Her sailing exploits include three solo transatlantic crossings and she is best known on TV for her British series, Go Hard or Go Home, where White coached members of the public to take on extreme sporting challenge events around the world. 

UK sailing fans will also recognise her as the co-host of BT Sport’s America’s Cup World Series coverage. Her many adventures include a 180 Kg sled pull, a kayak race across Lake Geneva and cycling across the French Alps. Most recently she kayaking across the breadth of England to raise money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI).

Now, in her latest challenge - Project Speedbird - White is attempting to become the world’s fastest female sailor over a one nautical mile distance. 

“The ultimate goal is to break the women’s one-mile speed sailing record that’s currently held by the windsurfer, Zara Davis,” White explains. “I will be sailing on a high performance 18-foot dinghy. It’s based on the foiling Moth but has been custom designed and built for my record attempt.”

After a five year break from sailing, when the record attempt idea first surfaced during a casual lunch conversation a couple of years ago, White jumped at the chance to return to the sport she considers a significant part of her heritage.

“It was an exciting time to be involved in sailing: the success of London 2012; the formation of a British America’s Cup challenge in Land Rover BAR; and, the general ongoing development and popularity of foiling boats. 

I wanted to jump on that bandwagon and a couple of other things about the challenge attracted me too. Firstly, the skill level that I was going to have to reach to make this happen and, secondly, the broad appeal that the project could have, not just to sailors, but to anyone interested in design, technology, engineering, or speed. 

Sailing can be a complicated sport to comprehend, but speed records are easy to understand. From A to B – as quickly as you can. Everyone gets that!” 

White doesn’t come from a family of ocean-roving sailors - in fact, her parents have never been sailing even now. White herself was first lured on to the water by... READ THE FULL ARTICLE

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