by Bob Maxwell
Tension is rising aboard the 78 foot bio-fuelled trimaran Earthrace as she staggers across the eastern Pacific on just one engine. This is the third day since she blew a 30,000 psi fuel line, not long after leaving Hawaii on the 2,200 nautical mile leg to Majuro in the Marshall Islands.
Earthrace 590 miles from Majuro
Earthrace Docking in Hawaii -2008
The New Zealand skipper Pete Bethune reports that Earthrace has averaged just 14.4 knots for the last 24 hours, she is now 11,616 miles from Sagunto, Spain and today she will cross the half way mark in her quest to break the round the world powerboat record set by Cable & Wireless in 1998 of 74 days, 23 hours 53 minutes.
Having travelled 345 miles today, Earthrace is still 2,092 miles ahead of the world record pace but as Bethune reports it’s a nerve racking time for the Earthrace crew.
They are still a day and a half from Majuro where Chief Engineer Tito de Freitas will be waiting with the new fuel lines.
If the remaining engine stops then the dream to break the world record is all over, if she can stagger into Majuro they will be back on track. As Bethune says, every variation in sound from their single engine is adding to the stress and they still have 590 nautical miles to go.
You can listen to the latest sat. phone report from Earthrace now.