Race to Freedom

Race to Freedom by Vlad Murnikov

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It doesn’t seem that long ago that the two words Glastnost and Perestroika were on everyone’s lips. There was a new dawn in the Soviet Union and Michael Gorbachev was easing restrictions on travel and commerce. One of the first to squeeze through the gap was a house architect from Moscow, a man with vision and a dream. Vlad Murnikov had followed the early Whitbread Races in old issues of Sail Magazine and he planned to one day have his own entry in the race.

It was an impossible dream but with his dream came action. He convinced Fazis corporation, an import export business based in the Soviet state of Georgia to fund his unlikely effort. He found other sponsors including US giant Pepsico, and through sheer determination and grit designed and built a radical 83-foot light displacement rocket ship for the 1989 Whitbread Race. The boat was flown to London in an ANT-124 “Ruslan” the world’s largest transport plane. Vlad takes up the story in his book.

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