A trio of appointments has been made by Team Britannia to its round the world record attempt crew. The three, Andy Haffenden, Renee Shuyan Lu and Christopher Piearcey will work with the project’s partners in North America, China and central and southern Europe to maximise sponsorship and media opportunities.
The appointment of the three members of the land team marks the start of final preparations that will see the innovative 80ft superboat Excalibur launched, and sea trialled ahead of the record attempt.
Ocean racing legend and team principal Alan Priddy welcomed the appointment, commenting: “I know all three of these people and their many personal and business qualities that they will bring to our exciting and ambitious project."
“To date we have been largely focused on the onboard crew, with the exception of our partnership with the leading global shipping and logistics company GAC, but as our Land Director Alan Goodwin, member of the 1997 record breaking team, says, this attempt can be won and lost on the land.”
Andy Haffenden, who is based in Florida and is a keen sailor, has considerable powerboat experience and runs a highly successful global luxury yacht and concierge business, Aquazeal Charter, will become the North American Director. He brings a wealth of experience to the project, having worked in the marine sector for several decades and has an honours degree in Maritime Management.
Miss Lu, who is based in Fareham, is a Director of the Amber Rose Consultancy, an expert in Anglo-Chinese relations, and is the Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the UK Portsmouth Chinese Association and HeNan Association, will become the Director of Chinese Operations.
Mr Piearcey, a former information technology industry specialist, will become the Director of Central and Southern Europe. Originally from Yorkshire, he now lives in Italy where he has built an impressive list of contacts through his role at the Club del Gommone di Milano, the oldest and largest RIB club in Italy.
Dr Priddy continued: “It has been a long and drawn out process to get here, with some unfortunate delays which were beyond our control, but our superboat is nearing completion. The fabrication has been finished, fitting out has started, and just a small amount of welding remains in the wheelhouse. This seemed like the ideal time to turbo charge our growing team with a trio of key appointments.
“They will act as the main contact points with our growing network of partners and supporters in North America, China and central and southern Europe.”
In September 2018 the 20 tonne superboat was lifted and turned 180 degrees to allow the flybridge to be added and work on the vessel’s distinctive wheelhouse to be completed. This has been done, while the chief engineer Steve Mason has continued fitting out the vessel.
Mr. Haffenden commented: “This is an incredible opportunity to be part of a unique endeavour, which mixes work with injured and wounded service personnel, an ambitious environmental programme, and a host of world records. It really is an awesome project, and I look forward to working with Alan and the team to deliver it.”
Dr Priddy concluded: “The fitting out is under way, while a small a small amount of welding to the cabin remains outstanding. Once this is complete and the miles of cabling have been installed, the next big milestone will be commissioning the superboat’s two FPT engines and Castoldi jets that will power it on the 42,000-kilometre record attempt. We are getting close to announcing when the boat will hit the water and a timetable for the round the world record attempt, which could see us setting nearly two dozen records.”
Notes to editors
Team Britannia is a multi-million pound British bid to design and build the fastest and most fuel-efficient semi-wave slicing superboat to circumnavigate the globe for the much-coveted UIM world record, currently held by the New Zealander Pete Bethune at 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes.
The World Record Authorities (UIM) dictate that for a recognised circumnavigation the craft must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and must start and finish the journey in the same place.
The superboat is a completely new design from Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It has been designed in the UK and encompasses “an exceptionally efficient hull,” which will cut fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.
In addition to the design the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifying agent from Portsmouth based Clean Fuel Ltd. This will reduce harmful emissions such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.
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 online.
The boat is being built by the Aluminium Boat Building Company in Hampshire, out of marine-grade aluminium. The metal was produced by Blackburns Metals and laser-cut by specialist firm Aalco in Southampton.
In September 2018 the superboat was turned to facilitate the fitting out process, including the installation of the engines and jets.
When completed the boat will showcase nearly two-dozen leading marine companies, which are supporting the project with their expertise and equipment.
Team Britannia will launch their record from Europa Point in Gibraltar following sea trials in one of the two annual weather windows.
Length – 80 feet
Internal beam – 13 feet
External beam – 19 feet
Draft – 30 inches
Material – Marine grade aluminium, including nearly 12km of framing
Hull thickness – 8-10 mm
Build weight – 20 tonnes
Range 4,000 nautical miles
Engines – Two Hand Built Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinders
Power – Each engine (unmodified) is capable of generating 550HP at 2,000 RPM
Water jets – Two Castoldi turbo drive 490 HC
Fuel – Emulsified diesel (diesel, water and a unique emulsion developed by Clean Fuel and its partners)
Navigation station – Raymarine
Communications equipment - Standard Horizon & Iridium Everywhere
Batteries and charging systems – Mastervolt
Total crew – 20 (12 onboard with 5 rotating on and off the boat plus 3 shore based)
Crew clothing – Sebago
Fixings – Technifast
Tubes – Henshaws/WING
Pumps - Whale
Logistical support by GAC
For more information and regular updates visit: www.teambritannia.co.uk or @team_britannia
For media inquiries, please contact:
Alistair@teambritanniapr.com | 07970 162 225