Hannah White Launches Project Speedbird At The Science Museum

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Sailor and broadcaster, Hannah White today launched her bid to become the fastest woman on
water over one nautical mile when she unveiled her latest venture; Project Speedbird. In a
purpose built, state of the art boat, Speedbird, Hannah will be attempting to break the women’s
speed record over one nautical mile while also becoming the first woman to ever set that record
above the 40 knot barrier (equivalent to 46mph).



With Speedbird on display at the Science Museum in central London from 26-28 May 2015,
Hannah and her team have been giving people the opportunity to see the boat first hand and find
out more about the technology that has gone into ensuring that Speedbird can sail as fast as
possible. The Science Museum has kindly given access to this prestigious space during half term,
allowing youngsters visiting the museum to see Speedbird first hand to not only be inspired by
Hannah and what she is attempting to achieve but also to learn more about Speedbird and
importantly, the science behind it.

Speedbird has been designed and built by project engineer Dave Chisholm. In order to achieve
this record, Project Speedbird will need to bring together both technological and engineering
innovation and combine it with Hannah’s grit, determination and physical ability.

Dave Chisholm commented: “If you want to break records, you have to do things differently. Highspeed
sailing is an ancient art however, if you have no rule books or guidelines to work from, you
have to use and trust your own research, thoughts and ideas. Combine these with technology and
you can then develop ideas into tangible forms and manufacturing components in titanium and
carbon fibre. We have been lucky to have had access to our partner Land Rover’s engineering
expertise and technology to enable us to fine tune our designs to give us the best possible shot at
breaking this record.”

In order to prepare for this record Hannah is going to huge lengths to get herself in the best
possible condition which has started with learning how to sail the hydrofoiling Moth that the
Speedbird design is based on. Hannah is taking training support and advice from an experienced
team of world-class athletes across a multitude of sports, to give her the best all round
performance edge. Those athletes providing support include a number of professional sailors
currently competing on the Extreme Sailing Series™ – an international inshore racing circuit.
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Hannah will also need to change her body strength needing to drop 4-6kgs and build new muscle
groups to have enough strength to sail such a fast boat. She is on a strict regime that includes over
10 sessions a week with around 15 hours of sailing and 8 hours in the gym. She is also on a strict,
high protein diet that is closely monitored and adjusted to aid her performance.
Speaking about Project Speedbird, Hannah said: “I knew this was an ambitious project both
technologically and physically when we set out to break the women’s speed sailing record. I knew
the key to success would be securing the support of partners, like Land Rover, who are world
leaders in the innovation and expertise required to streamline Speedbird into a record-breaking

“I am enormously grateful for the support of all of our partners as they will give me the
competitive edge required to secure and harness the ultimate advantage over the elements to
push the boundaries of this project and achieve a world record.”
After the event at the Science Museum, Hannah will be attempting to make the first crossing of
the English Channel in a Moth setting off from Cap de Gris, France to Folkestone, England in early
June (depending on weather conditions). Hannah’s sailing background is in endurance sailing at
sea and learning to sail a high-speed Moth has meant that she has had to learn a whole new set of
skills. No-one has attempted to cross the Channel in a Moth before and Hannah will need to apply
all of her skills from endurance sailing and combine them with the high speed skills required for

Hannah and her team will be exhibiting Speedbird in Cardiff at the Extreme Sailing Series™
presented by Land Rover from 19-21 June 2015. Here Hannah’s training is being given a boost
by some of the World’s very best sailors who compete on the Series, who are sharing their
expertise and knowledge from years at the top of the professional sailing world.

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