Team Britannia round-the-world bid relaunched this week
British ocean racing legend Alan Priddy will this week re-launch Team Britannia’s multi-million pound round the world record bid which will start and finish in Gibraltar.
In addition to the race Team Britannia are planning a week of maritime activities starting off with a return to the Rock of the Thundercat Racing Teams and finishing off with a spectacular night of music in Casemates on October 22, the eve of departure.
The race will be completed in a “revolutionary semi-wave slicing powerboat run on a fuel emulsion that slashes harmful emissions,” Mr Priddy said, and the team hopes to beat the current record held by New Zealander Pete Bethune of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes.
The former Technical Director of VT Halmatic, Professor Bob Cripps, has designed the boat which “will slice the waves like a knife, rather than surfing them, with its super-efficient design, a variant of the “fast displacement hull”.
The design will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30% and Team Britannia said it should make the 24,000 mile trip smoother.
In addition to the design saving fuel, the boat will be powered by a “revolutionary fuel emulsion, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier, that when burnt reduces harmful emissions such as particulate matter and NOx,” Mr Priddy said.
CleanFuel Ltd are a British company behind the fuel emulsion, the pioneers of this new technology said it has produces “a stable, more efficient burning fuel that will improve the boats range, while cutting pollution.”
Scientists, environmentalists, people from both the marine and fuel sectors and the public will be able to see the effects of the emulsified fuel on the engines and the emissions of the fuel as it will be monitored for the duration of the voyage with the results being published by the Clean Fuel online in real time.
“If successful it could have major implications not just for the marine sector, but for the power generation and transport sectors,” Mr Priddy said.
The fact the race is back on is huge news for Britain’s Maritime history and a huge relief for Mr Priddy and team, who had to postpone the record attempt last year when a major sponsors
"Last year we had to take a very difficult decision to delay the whole project by twelve months, after one of our key sponsors was not able to provide the funding that had been agreed. This was a real blow, but given the size of this project a setback like this was always possible,” Mr Priddy said.
The setback did not deter Mr Priddy and the team and they set about seeking other options. Their hard work paid off with a series of companies from the City agreeing to support them.
“We have secured the funds to complete the project and now that we have fired the starting pistol on the construction process there is no going back. In about five months’ time we will have a stunning cutting edge powerboat that later this year my team and I will sail round the world quicker than anyone has ever done. In doing so we will bring the world record back to Great Britain where it belongs,” Mr Priddy said.
Currently the metal that will be used to manufacture the 80ft vessel is already being produced and will be cut at the end of this month in Southampton by Aalco Metals - Europe’s largest laser cutting facility. The Aluminium Boat Building Company Ltd will then assemble the boat on Hayling Island.
The five companies financing the build of the £1.8 million boat are Titan Capital, Rivers Leasing, Fultech, The SME Clinic and Elite Wealth.
Prior to the start of the race in Gibraltar, the vessel will complete sea trials, which will include two voyages around the UK.
Not just excited about bringing the boat and starting the race in Gibraltar Mr Priddy is also excited about highlighting the talent the UK has in the maritime area. He said: “This project really is the culmination of a lifetime’s work for me that I hope will highlight the amazing qualities and skills that we have in abundance in our country - the best sailors, engineers, boat builders and designers.”
“This is why when we started this project several years ago, we called ourselves Team Britannia,” he added.
To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and start and finish in the same place. The world record authorities, UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) have approved Team Britannia’s proposed route, which will start in Gibraltar and call at Puerto Rico, Acapulco, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.