Team Britannia today confirmed the new start date for their powerboat round-the-world record attempt

Team Britannia today confirmed the new start date for their powerboat round-the-world record attempt.

Ocean racing legend and skipper Alan Priddy said his 80ft craft will set off from Gibraltar on Sunday, March 12, 2017.

Priddy, in Gibraltar for a weekend of ThunderCat speedboat racing in Catalan Bay, said: “My team and I have been busy studying more than 10 years of weather data to identify the next available window for the record attempt.”

March 12 is it.

Team Britannia explains delay

How Team Britannia’s 80ft powerboat will look

The record attempt was delayed last month due to a technical problem with the two stern hull plates which had to be re-cut and work on the boat ground to a halt.

“This has now been rectified and the new plates will arrive shortly, allowing the plating of the hull to be completed,” said Priddy.

“Once in place, we can turn the hull over and slide the engines, Castoldi jets and fuel tanks into place before craning into place the wheelhouse.

“Then we can start on the kit out, including installing the high tech communications and navigation.”

The ‘weather window’ allows them avoid to avoid the worst of the hurricane and typhoon seasons on the 23,000 mile voyage a cross the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and through the Panama and Suez canals.

The boat is expected to be launched in late November, before undertaking an extended programme of sea trials, which will ensure it exceeds all safety requirements before setting off on the record attempt.

“This is a great news for the project and I want to thank my whole team, both on board and shore based – especially Aalco and the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company for their unstinting efforts in making sure we have the very best boat,” said Priddy.

“I also want to thank all our supporters and sponsors who continue to make this project possible. Their unwavering support and commitment has been a source of inspiration to us all.

“Finally I’m pleased to confirm we have some big announcements going forward, from who will be on board, our official timekeeper, to the international clothing supplier who will be ensuring our team have the very best possible kit.”

The boat – designed by Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic – has been designed to slice the waves rather than surf them. Its super-efficient design is a variant of the fast displacement hull and will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.

The vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion developed by Clean Fuel Ltd, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier, that when burnt reduces harmful emissions such as particulate matter and NOx.

Inside the boat will be the latest radar, safety and communications.

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.

Pete Bethune

Current world record holder Pete Bethune

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, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.

The current world record held by New Zealander Pete Bethune stands at 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes.


Team Britannia’s boat specifications:

Length – 80 feet

Internal beam – 13 feet

External beam – 19 feet

Draft – 30 inches

Material – Marine grade aluminium, including nearly 12km of framing

Hull thickness – 8mm

Build weight – 15 tonnes

Range 4,000 nautical miles

Engines – Two customised Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinders

Power – Each engine is capable of generating 500HP at 2,000 RPM

Water jets – Two Castoldi turbo drive 490 HC

Fuel – Emulsified diesel (diesel, water and a unique emulsion developed by Clean Fuel and its partners)

Navigation station – Raymarine

Crew – 12