Green challenger ready for the off

Earthrace will leave Spain on 27 April on its second attempt to break the Round the World Powerboat Speed Record.

The original start date in March was postponed but after sea trials off Valencia, the boat is now ready to go.

New Zealand skipper Pete Bethune says: “This time it’s really happening and we’re all raring to go.

“Our new team is working really well together and we have all the skills we need on board and on the ground crew to break the record.

“We owe so much to all our sponsors and the thousands of supporters of Earthrace around the world and we’re determined to succeed for all of them.

“Breaking the record will help to further increase awareness and debate about biofuels and other renewable energy solutions and that, in the end, has always been my goal.”

Earthrace is a 78ft wave-piercing trimaran powered by biodiesel and a claimed net zero carbon footprint.

The crew hopes to complete the voyage in under 65 days.

The record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe is 74 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes, set in 1998 by UK boat Cable & Wireless Adventurer.

The team delayed their original start because of La Nina weather patterns, while a second start date was put back to the current date because of EU Customs delays preventing the Portuguese supplied biofuel reaching all the refuelling locations around the world.

The last of those shipments will reach the Marshall Islands in the Pacific by the end of April meaning it will be there in good time for the arrival of the boat.

Sea trials have continued again this week.

During a 12-hour sea trial in the Mediterranean this week, a problem was found with one of the steering pumps and this is now being seen to.

A range of propellers are also being trialled as the first set has not delivered the anticipated speed.

The boat starts on 27 April from the Vulkan Shipyard, Sagunto in Spain.

www.earthrace.net