by Bob Maxwell
Earthrace, the bio-fuelled UIM powerboat is speeding up the Red Sea heading for Suez on Day 55 of her Round the World record run, just three thousand miles from the Sagunto in Spain and the finish line.
Earthrace 2008 (Photo Peter Faretra)
In the last 24 hours the giant trimaran has travelled 516 nautical miles, at an average speed of 21.5 knots, and she is now 3,017 miles ahead of the 1998 Cable & Wireless World Record.
On Day 54 Earthrace averaged 20.5 knots and her New Zealand skipper Pete Bethune commented ‘We’ve lost some boat speed. For the amount of fuel we’re burning at the moment we should be doing around 24 knots, and yet we’re just over 22.
‘It is a combination of things. Certainly the propeller we changed in Singapore has had an impact. The previous one was the very latest from Hytorque in Canada and it was super-efficient, especially compared with the older prop we have now put on.
‘Also the repairs we did in Singapore will have had an adverse affect. The P-Bracket is now fatter and with a slightly rough surface, similarly the repairs to the bow and rudder were relatively rough, and these would all add slightly to drag.’
Conditions are excellent for Earthrace as she runs fast up the Red Sea, she has a ¼ to ½ metre following sea and she will, at current pace, reach the mouth of the Suez Canal on Monday.
If she has a fast transit and a good run across the Mediterranean, she could complete her round the world run 12 or 13 days inside the record.
Her two sat tracking units are current U/S; the one on the roof top has cracked and taken on water but a second one up higher on the horn might be able to be repaired.
Listen to the latest report from Earthrace below.