First stage of record bid completed

Earthrace, the self-proclaimed “eco-boat” attempting to break the Round the World Powerboat Record, has made a fast Atlantic crossing and has made it through the Panama Canal without delay.

The boat, which started from Valencia, Spain, on 27 April, is a 24m tri-hull wavepiercer running on renewable biodiesel, with a claimed “net zero carbon footprint”.

New Zealander Pete Bethune, who is the driving force behind the project and the skipper, reported the Panama Canal Authority ensured a swift journey through the canal for Earthrace, which completed its 12 hour transit on Saturday evening.

The boat then moored at Rodman’s Dock awaiting refuelling on Sunday morning, as local licensing restrictions forbid refuelling during the night.

Earthrace set off on the next leg of its journey to Mexico on Sunday afternoon, guided by a pilot boat. The crew expects to arrive in Manzanillo, Mexico on Wednesday 14 May.

“We’re all really grateful to the Panama Canal Authority for speeding up our route through the canal,” said Pete.

“This is high season in the canal and demand to get through can often result in a backlog of a number of weeks, so to only lose a day is a massive boost for our world record attempt.

“We wouldn’t have been able to do it without the amazing local support we have received.

“The boat’s running fantastically and we’re now thundering up the coast of Costa Rica and looking forward to arriving in Manzanillo for a speedy refuelling on Wednesday.”

Keep up-to-date with Earthrace’s progress during the world record attempt with the live satellite tracker on www.earthrace.net