Created: 21 Nov 2010 15:18
Updated: 22 Nov 2010 20:04

A Russian yacht has succeeded where John Franklin failed 163 years ago.

The Russian yacht has returned to its home port of St Petersburg after setting a new record with a round-the-world voyage through the Arctic Ocean, including both the north-east and north-west passages.The 18m steel-hulled yacht Peter the First set off in June and successfully circumnavigated the north pole in just one season.

It took the seven yachtsmen 109 days to sail 9023 nautical miles around the ocean. They survived a large storm in the Barents Sea, and sailed 3000 nautical miles through heavy ice floes. From St Petersburg, they sailed around Scandinavia to Murmansk, and from Murmansk to the Arctic archipelago of Novaya Zemlya. And from there, further east towards northeastern Siberia and the Canadian Arctic.

Skipper Daniil Gavrilov told ITN  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.