Sail beats Power in Record Roshambo

Published on May 11th, 2017

Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT hold the fastest time for a sailboat to circumnavigate the world. The team set the mark of 40:23:30:30 on December 16, 2016 to January 25, 2017, covering the theoretical distance of 21,600 nm at an average speed of 21.96 knots.

And in record-setting roshambo, sail beats power as Joyon’s time is 20 days faster than the current powerboat world record, a fact that a group is seeking to soon reduce.

Francis Joyon (FRA) and his five crew on the 31.5m VPLP-designed trimaran IDEC SPORT.

Team Britannia, the multiple world powerboat record-holder, has its sights to set a new round-the-world record attempt, hoping to cut up to seven days off the current record of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes, held by New Zealander Pete Bethune.

Team Britannia, led by British ocean racing legend Alan Priddy, will use a revolutionary semi-wave slicing boat, designed by Professor Bob Crips. The hull of the vessel will cut through the waves, rather than surfing them. This super-efficient design will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and make the 23,000 nautical mile trip smoother and faster.

In addition to the fuel-efficient design, the boat will use a pollution-cutting Water-in-Diesel (WiDE) fuel emulsion to power the two race-tuned Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinder engines. The boat is being built by the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company who are based near Portsmouth, and it will be fitted with the latest navigation and communications equipment from the British marine industry.

The record attempt will start in October 2017 using the iconic Europa Point in Gibraltar as its timing mark.

To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals 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, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.

The boat will be crewed by a team of 12, including up to five wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (WIS) on each of the seven legs of the voyage who are being supported by the top veterans charity Blesma. Award-winning travel journalist and photographer Clive Tully (64) will also be joining the crew.

“Clive and I are renewing a dream born in our ‘Spirit of Cardiff’ record attempt in 2002 which was thwarted by a medical emergency,” said Priddy. “We are in a better position than ever to put this unfinished business to bed and I am delighted to be reunited with Clive as we aim to make history.”

Tully added: “It would be an understatement to say that I am relishing the opportunity of putting Team Britannia in the history books and returning this prestigious world record back to British shores. The ‘Spirit of Cardiff’ adventure in 2002 may have broken 33 world records, but, as Alan says, there remains unfinished business and along with our exceptional team, this is the best opportunity we have to make history. ”

Tully, an award-winning travel journalist and photographer, accompanied Priddy on all of the world record attempts on board the powerboat ‘Spirit of Cardiff’ from 1999-2003 and is the holder of 33 UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) powerboating world records.

“We are at a crucial and exciting point in the project,” observed Priddy. “The boat is being built and we know that getting the right team together is crucial if we are to smash the current record and I am delighted to be reunited with Clive’s skills and experience.”

Team Britannia is a multi-million pound British bid to design and build the fastest and most fuel efficient semi-wave slicing powerboat 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 has to 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 boat is a completely new design from Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It has been designed in the UK and will be constructed in the Portsmouth area out of marine-grade aluminium. It 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 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 Boatbuilding Company based in Hampshire, out of marine-grade aluminium. The metal was produced by Blackburn metals and laser-cut by specialist firm Aalco in Southampton.

The boat will also showcase nearly a dozen leading marine companies, which are supporting the project with their expertise and equipment.

Team Britannia will launch their record bid in October 2017 from Europa Point in Gibraltar.

Boat specifications:
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 customised Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinders
Power – Each engine is capable of generating 500HP 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 – Mastervolt
Total crew – 20 (12 onboard with 5 rotating on and off the boat plus 3 shore based)

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