They need 375 miles daily to get the record; crew try to put disaster behind them

Latest press release from the Earthrace team:

San Diego, California–31 March 2007–Earthrace’s attempt to break the world record for powerboat global circumnavigation is now back on track after being detained in Guatemala for 10 days due to a collision with a local fishing boat. Since leaving Guatemala, Earthrace stopped to refuel in Acapulco and is now making excellent progress heading north along the west coast of Mexico to San Diego at an average speed of 20-23 knots.

Earthrace started her circumnavigation attempt on March 10 in Barbados and headed west to Panama. On the first leg of the race from Barbados to Panama the new “state of the art” carbon fiber propellers delaminated which forced Earthrace to slow to 12 knots to preserve the propellers and to minimize vibration. New propellers were fitted to Earthrace in Panama on March 15, 2007 (2 days behind schedule) Earthrace then steered toward its next refueling stop, Acapulco, Mexico. Early morning March 17 tragedy struck as Earthrace was involved in a collision with a local fishing skiff off the coast of Guatemala. This left one local fisherman missing, presumed drowned and one local man with serious injuries. Earthrace crew was unhurt. Earthrace was detained by the Guatemalan authorities for 10 days while an investigation was conducted; which cleared Earthrace of any wrongdoing and the boat was allowed to leave on March 27.

After some deliberation Earthrace has decided to continue with the race, and remains hopeful of being able to finish in Barbados inside the current world record of 75 days. Pete Bethune, the skipper of Earthrace, said “If we get a great run from here on, it’s still possible we could get the record in Barbados.” Earthrace has been making excellent time since being released from Guatemala, covering 580 nautical miles in one 24 hour stretch. For Earthrace to arrive back in Barbados under the record, she will have to make approximately 375 nautical miles per day.

Bethune said, “Given the time we lost in Guatemala, for us to be to finish in Barbados in record time will be a significant challenge and will require a Herculean effort from boat and crew, but we are all up for this and it is certainly within the realms of possibility. We owe it to ourselves and to our many supporters to give it our best shot.”