Army boxer and ship’s doctor join Team Britannia

Former Army boxer Ray Finch and Dr Jan Falkowski are the latest recruits to Team Britannia’s round-the-world record attempt

British Army veteran and former boxer Ray Finch is the latest addition to Team Britannia’s round-the-world record attempt. He joins with Dr Jan Falkowski, 56, who is the ship’s doctor. Falkowski is one of the UK’s top consultant psychiatrists.

The pair join the 12-strong Hampshire-based crew hoping to cut up to seven days off the current record of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes, held by New Zealander Pete Bethune.

Dr Jan Falkowski has joined Team Britannia

Dr Jan Falkowski has joined Team Britannia

Led by Alan Priddy – whose son, Wayne, is also a crew member – they will use a new semi-wave slicing boat that carves through waves rather than surfing them. The boat’s hull was recently turned and construction continues apace at the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company in Portsmouth.

Alan's son Wayne Priddy has also joined Team Britannia's powerboat circumnavigation record attempt

Alan’s son Wayne Priddy has also joined Team Britannia’s powerboat circumnavigation record attempt

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Alan claims that the variant of the fast displacement hull will cut fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent on the 24,000 mile trip

The crew will feature up to five wounded, injured or sick servicemen and women on each of the seven legs of the voyage who are being supported by veterans’ charity Blesma.

“Ray’s career in the infantry and as a former boxer proves he is up for a challenge – there is no better quality than that!” said Alan.

Ray, 50, was always fascinated with the Guinness Book of World Records as a boy and now hopes to feature within its pages.

“I am really looking forward to what will be an epic challenge – something I am always ready to crack on with as a former infantryman,” said Ray.

“As well as smashing the world record, I want this record attempt to be about proving that my disability is not the end of living an active life, and that despite giving up on challenges after I was retired from the Army, there is still fire left in my belly,” he said.

Ray comes from Preston and joined the Army at 16. He has received the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery.

He is a qualified PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) divemaster and rescue diver. He’s also an emergency first responder.

Of Dr Jan’s recriuitment, Priddy said: “Jan and I have completed many voyages together so he’s a key part of the team that will bring the round-the-world record home to Britain. Experience and a cool head matter when you’re navigating the world’s oceans. Jan brings yet another illustrious nautical CV to Team Britannia.”
The record attempt gets underway in March using Europa Point in Gibraltar as its timing mark.

To beat the record, the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and start and finish in the same place. The world record authorities, UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) have approved Team Britannia’s proposed route, which will involve fuel stops in Puerto Rico, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta.

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