No record circumnavigation can be entirely smooth

Hawaii, USA –12th April 2007–At approximately 4pm yesterday afternoon, Earthrace became entangled with some old ropes and fishing net as she made here way Westwards towards Hawaii.

According to Earthrace Captain Pete Bethune, there was a sudden series of vibrations, and on stopping, a trail of ropes could be seen dangling behind the stern of Earthrace. The crew dived underneath the hull to cut away sections of rope that were wrapped in a tight ball around the 3-inch shaft and propeller. Bethune says the debris looks like an accumulation of lots of old bits of fishing gear, and judging by the amount of algal growth, it has probably been floating around for years.

A total of around 15 minutes time was lost in removing the debris from the starboard propeller, and Earthrace is now safely on her way back towards Hawaii. She is expected to arrive in Maalaea on the Island of Maui at around 5pm today, local time.

On arrival, Earthrace will be refueled with B100 biodiesel, plus she will also undergo maintenance. Earthrace Engineer Scott Fratcher says it is most important they fix a vibration that has hampered the boat for some time. As soon as that is repaired, Earthrace will leave for Majuro, in the Marshall Islands, on the next leg of her round the world speed record attempt.