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Fastest Eco Boat On The Planet Challenges Round World Speed Record

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
VALENCIA, SPAIN - Pete Bethune, NZ skipper of Earthrace, the fastest eco boat on the planet, today (Tuesday 18 December) officially announced a challenge to break the round the world speed record attempt, beginning from Valencia in Spain on 1st March 2008.

The announcement was made at the QEII Pier, Greenwich, London where Earthrace is being hosted by Greenwich Council until 1st January 2008. Greenwich has several sustainable energy programmes in place, is one of only four Beacon Authorities for air quality in the country and is about to launch a weekly collection of green and kitchen waste.

Circumnavigating the globe represents the pinnacle of powerboat challenges, and at more than 24,000 nautical miles is the world's longest speed challenge. The decision to announce the official start date from Britain was made by Pete Bethune as the current record holder is British boat 'Cable and Wireless Adventurer' who took the record in a time of 75 days in 1998.

Major new fuel sponsor for Earthrace

Today, Pete Bethune also announced a major new fuel sponsor, SGC Energia (SGCE) based in Portugal, who will supply 165,000 litres of superior quality biodiesel. This is the amount required in order to break the record.

SGCE CEO, Vianney Valès, said: ""Earthrace is a really exciting project and an incredible hi-tech boat, and we are delighted to help by donating biodiesel for the Round the World Speed Record. She is rapidly becoming the highest-profile powerboat in the world, and our association will help to advance and create greater global awareness of the Emissions Free Liquid Fuels industry."

Fuelled entirely on 100% biodiesel and with a net zero carbon footprint, Earthrace is a showcase of environmentally friendly technologies such as low-emissions engines, non-toxic anti-foul (underwater paint) and an extremely fuel efficient hull design.

The boat's lower-deck floor is made of hemp, a durable industrial fiber that's renewable and can withstand small impacts. Because hemp is the root of the plant Cannabis, the floor is green. The crew also uses organic compounds to keep barnacles off the bottom of the boat, in order to avoid using common waxy chemicals that leach out into the water. Using organic means, however, the Earthrace crew must clean the bottom of the boat once a month.

From the start in Valencia, the boat will cross the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and travel through the Panama and Suez Canals as it thunders around the planet's circumference at a maximum speed of 40 knots. The full record route is as follows:

Valencia - Azores - Puerto Rico - Panama Canal — Manzanillo, Mexico — San Diego, USA — Hawaii — Majuro, Marshall Islands — Koror, Palau — Singapore — Cochin, India — Salalah, Oman - Suez Canal - Valencia

Earthrace is a wave piercing trimaran, designed to cut through waves rather than sail over them and is capable of submerging up to 7 metres as it does so. This enables the boat to maintain a higher average speed through big seas as compared to conventional craft.

Pete Bethune believes that Earthrace has a great opportunity to nourish and grow the global biodiesel industry, as well as to advance biodiesel as a genuinely viable alternative to petroleum diesel.

Bethune said, "Governments have a role to legislate to make biofuels happen. If it were up to market forces, biofuels wouldn't happen at all. Politicians in Western Europe must be prepared to stand up to the oil industry and be more supportive of the biofuels industry to make sure the production of biofuels is sustainable."

Demonstrating his extraordinary commitment to the cause, and to celebrate Earthrace's very first fuel up, Pete underwent liposuction and donated enough to produce 100ml (he's very thin), but two other, larger volunteers also had the procedure, making a total of ten litres of human fat. This in turn produced seven litres of biofuel — with the boat running slowly, that's enough to get her about 15kms.

Cllr Rajwant Sidhu, Greenwich Council's Cabinet member for Greener Greenwich, said, "Greenwich is honoured to be hosting the official announcement of the start date of her world speed record attempt, and the boat itself during her visit to London, and supports its campaign for greater use of biodiesel as a key contributor to reducing carbon emissions.

"As an authority we take very seriously our responsibility for reducing carbon emissions, as demonstrated by our pioneering work to improve air quality, to promote alternatives to car transport, and to offer residents some of the best recycling facilities in the country."

A successful attempt by Earthrace would mark the first time in history that an official UIM Powerboat world record has been broken using only renewable fuel.

Earthrace open to the public in London

Throughout her visit to London (18 December — 1st January), Earthrace will be open for visitors to go on board and meet the crew at the QEII Pier, Greenwich. Anyone with a GreenwichCard (Greenwich Council's discount card for residents) will get on board free, everyone else is encourage to make a small donation that will go directly to the boat's running costs. For opening times and details of opportunities to use Earthrace for hospitality events, please see the website Earthrace.

Media notes:

Earthrace is run as a not-for-profit venture, with a four person boat crew, four person ground. The base crew will be in London. All crew are volunteers and currently include individuals from UK, Ireland, Sweden, Hungary and Portugal.

Individuals and companies can 'buy' or sponsor an individual race leg and become guest crew (making a boat crew of five people) for that part of the world record attempt.

For Earthrace high res images and further details: Earthrace. B roll footage is also available, please contact Beverley Bailey.

Earthrace would like to thank Giles Cooper and Ewan Thomson from Borkowski PR for all their help.

Source: Earthrace
 

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
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