Round the world record attempt ready to go

The radical biodiesel-fuelled trimaran Earthrace will leave Barbados on 6 March aiming to break the Round the World Speed Record.

British boat Cable & Wireless set the current record of 75 days in 1998.

Since then four boats have attempted to lower the mark but were unable to make the complete circumnavigation.

Earthrace plans on finishing in less than 65 days, and will be the first to attempt to circle the globe using only renewable fuel.

The team have completed the first half of a promotional tour (the second half will take them round Europe, once the record has been attempted), and are now heading to Puerto Rico and then to Barbados for final preparations.

Skipper Pete Bethune, from New Zealand, who is the driving force behind the project, is appealing for sponsorship from anyone who can help.

He is aiming to highlight the benefits of renewable fuels to the entire marine industry.

Here Pete outlines several ways supporters can help:

1. Donate Air Miles. We need air miles to buy the plane tickets for the ground crew. Ground crew needs to follow and support Earthrace. If we don’t use the miles we will return them. Donate by going to the front page of Earthrace.net and clicking on the appropriate airline.

2. Help with Housing. We are in need of a place to stay in Acapulco, San Diego, the Marshal Islands, Palau and Singapore. Know anybody in these areas that can help with ideas? Send me an email at yachtwork@gmail.com

3. Unused Time Share Weeks. Pledge your unused Time Share weeks. We only need a week or two in each port on our racecourse. If you have unused Time Share weeks we can use them to support the ground crew and give the race crew a place to shower during the pit stops. If we don’t use them we’ll send them back.

4. Sell legs on Earthrace. We have select legs open. Want to participate in a world record setting extreme sport? Know anybody who does? The cost per leg is between 10k and 30K depending on the distance. Make Earthrace part of your vacation plans and join us for a leg while helping to save the planet.

5. Make a donation, or buy DVD’s, posters and hats. Small donations add up. No large sponsors have built Earthrace. It’s all been through small donations from people just like you. People that want to help save the planet and are willing to make a small contribution. Go to Earthrace.net to donate or to do some online shopping.

6. Help us find fuel. Call around to your bio diesel provider and ask for fuel for Earthrace. We still have legs that need fuel donated and the only way this will happen is for you to help with the cause. As many of you know our main fuel sponsor dropped out just before the race start leaving Earthrace in need of Bio Diesel.

7. Volunteer your time. Earthrace depends on volunteers stepping forward and helping in many different ways. Picking up crew from the airport, spending time on the Internet getting Earthrace publicity, help link us on more pages, showing up to support Earthrace during her race tour, calling local media to help arrange more coverage, calling your local Bio Diesel supplier and asking for donations of fuel, and any other ways you can think of to help us achieve this record breaking circumnavigation.

See www.earthrace.net or email yachtwork@gmail for more information.

Here is part of the latest official release about the boat and team:

Earthrace is a 78 foot wave piercing trimaran designed by New Zealand navel architect Craig Loomis Design Group and was built by Calibre Boats. To ensure the lowest weight and highest strength possible, the hull is constructed of carbon fiber with a top layer of Kevlar. Earthrace has concluded its sea trials and Skipper Pete Bethune is confident the boat is structurally sound to circumnavigate the globe.

Earthrace was craned from the water January 23, 2007 for modifications in Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston is where Cummins Mercruiser, a primary sponsor of Earthrace is located. While there OSI applied a Teflon coating to the underside of the hull; this product is a substitute for typical anti-foul coatings, many of which are toxic. Also carbon propellers which are designed by a German, Air Fertigung Gnbh were fitted to Earthrace; they are 36 inches in diameter and feature three interchangeable blades that flex under pressure increasing speed and fuel efficiency. Phil Ross, from Calibre Boats, designed Kevlar socks that can be placed on the bow and sponsons with silicon during the race if these tips are to become damaged. Lastly the bow was converted to a fuel tank from a 2.5 ton fresh water ballast tank allowing Earthrace to hold another 800 gallons of biodeisel making the boats total fuel capacity 3800 gallons.

Not only is the vessel be in prime shape for the race but the crew has also been physically preparing; they have swapped beer for milk, naps for rugby, chai lattes for green tea, and fish and chips for tofu. The more they prepare the easier the waves of stress will be both physically and mentally during the race.

Earthrace will have a permanent crew of three allowing the opportunity for sponsors to purchase legs of the race and become the forth or fifth crew member. These sponsorships are selling for fifteen thousand dollars. Check www.earthrace.net to see who has sponsored a leg and which remain.

The permanent boat crew consists of Pete Bethune the Skipper. First mate is cinematographer Ryan Heron; he has produced an hour documentary detailing the Earthrace manifestation, and has filmed the promotional tour which will be combined with the race footage for a documentary series. Anthony Distefano is the Marine Engineer onboard. The fourth and fifth crew slots will be filled with sponsors. Earthrace is also guided by a ground crew of six, John Allen is Operations Manager and can be contacted for fuel sponsorship. Lance Wordsworth is photographer and cinematographer. Devann Yata is Media Liaison and Tech Support. Allison Thompson & Scott Fratcher manage dockings, customs, and boat support. David Perez manages leg sponsorships. Earthrace is a non profit organization run entirely by volunteers.

Biodiesel was formulated in 1895, chemically it is methyl ester, a renewable fuel made from plant oils and animal fats, it is biodegradable, and produces 78.5% lower carbon dioxide emissions than petroleum diesel. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engines and is a proven fuel with over 20 years of use in Europe and is now being explored as an alternative energy source within the United States.