by Bob Maxwell
Pete Bethune, the skipper of the 78 foot biodiesel powered trimaran Earthrace has tentatively set the 2008 World Record attempt start for April 27th 2008 from Sagunto in Spain.
Earthrace at speed
Earthrace will attempt to set a new world record for a powerboat to circle the globe, running 100% sustainable biodiesel fuel, and a net zero carbon footprint. The crew hopes to complete the voyage in under 65 days. The current record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe is currently 74 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes. This record was set by UK boat ‘Cable & Wireless Adventurer’ in 1998.
The Earthrace team had delayed their start from end March because of EU Customs delays which had prevented the Spanish supplied bio-fuel reaching all the refuelling locations around the world. The last of those shipments will reach the Marsh all Islands in the Pacific by the end of April.
Sea trials have continued again this week. During a 12 hour trail in the Mediterranean this week, a problem was found with one of the steering pumps and this is now being overcome. A range of propellors are being trialled as the first set has not delivered the anticipated speed.
On the first round the world attempt last year, Earthrace was plagued with engine vibrations and the team is working hard to ensure that does not happen again.
You can listen to Peter Bethune's trial satellite audio report here now. This will be a daily feature of the round the World attempt.