Team Britannia’s round the world record bid will receive a major boost today with the announcement of support from The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s Endeavour Fund.
Team Britannia is a multi-million pound round the world record bid which hopes to shave up to seven days off the current record of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes, held by New Zealander Pete Bethune.
It is lead by British powerboating legend Alan Priddy, in a revolutionary semi-wave slicing boat that will carve through the waves, rather than surfing them. The super-efficient design, a variant of the “fast displacement hull” will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and make the 24,000 mile trip smoother and faster.
The boat will be crewed by a team of 12, including up to four wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (WIS) on each of the seven legs of the voyage.
The Endeavour Fund will support the selection and training process of the WIS crewmembers.
Mr Priddy commented: "I am delighted that we are receiving this generous and welcome support from the Endeavour Fund as part of this historic record attempt. Back in 2014 when my team and I first started to talk about bolstering our crew with wounded and injured servicemen and women, we all knew that it was the right thing to do, especially as several of the existing crew have strong ties to the military.
“And the sad reality of the situation is that according to a recent study from King's College London there are around 83,000 former servicemen and women who are still suffering from their physical or mental injuries from the wars of the last 25 years.
“Even with these life-changing injuries there is still that incredible can-do attitude, their passion and tenacity. We want to harness this as we prepare to take back the round the world powerboat record for Great Britain.”
Mr Priddy continued: “No one should make the mistake of thinking that these men and women will be passengers – we simply don’t have room for passengers. Every crewmember will have to do their fair share. They will be full members of their watch and take part in all the activities necessary to ensure we are successful.”
The wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women will be selected over the next two to three months. They will be put through a series of rigorous tests to ensure that they are able to cope with the physical and mental challenges of the record attempt.
The extensive selection process has been developed by specialist training company Team Endeavour Racing (TER) and will be overseen by former army Captain Stuart Croxford.
Harry Holt, Chairman of the Endeavour Fund said: “I am thrilled the Endeavour Fund will be supporting Team Britannia’s world-record attempt. This is a fantastic opportunity for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women selected to be a part of this team to using sport and adventurous challenges as part of their recovery and rehabilitation. But more than that, this amazing challenge will provide them with skills and experience they need for a better onward transition.”
The vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier, that when burnt reduces harmful emissions such as particulate matter and NOx.
The British company behind the emulsion, Clean Fuel Ltd have pioneered new technology that they claim produces a stable, more efficient burning fuel that will improve the boat’s range, while cutting pollution.
The effects of the emulsified fuel on the engines and the emissions will be monitored for the duration of the voyage and the results published by the Clean Fuel online in real time.
The construction process of the boat has commenced, with the production of the recycled marine grade aluminium by Aalco Metals, which will be used to make the hull and internal framing.
The 80ft vessel will be launched in September to allow it to complete its sea trials. It has not been named yet, but Mr Priddy says they are in talks with potential sponsors about this and they will be making an announcement later in the year.
Mr Priddy continued: “Our goals are quite simple, to smash the current world record and showcase the very best of the British, including its maritime industry: design, boat building, technology, developments in eco-fuels and its people.
“We are quite simply over the moon that our work with wounded and injured servicemen and women has been recognised by the Endeavour Fund and Royal Foundation. They do amazing work and we are honoured and humbled by their support.”
To complete the record attempt 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 start in Gibraltar and call at Puerto Rico, Acapulco, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.
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Notes to Editors
In 2012, fuelled by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry’s passion for supporting the recovery of wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women, The Royal Foundation created the Endeavour Fund.
The Endeavour Fund offers seed funding for sporting and adventure challenges and helps emerging initiatives with advice, hands-on support and mentoring. The fund plays an important role in ensuring that more Servicemen and women have the opportunity to rediscover their self-belief and fighting spirit through physical challenges.
More information can be found at www.endeavourfund.co.uk