30 Nov 2007
Earthrace is currently the highest-profile powerboat in the world, as well as one of the greenest.
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Earthrace is currently the highest-profile powerboat in the world, as well as one of the greenest. It is a showcase of environmentally friendly technologies, including low-emission engines, non-toxic antifoul and efficient hull design, and is run on 100% biodiesel (B100). This boat has been specifically designed to perform at high-speeds in the world’s toughest ocean conditions, and will at times, submarine right through waves.
Skipper Pete Bethune said: ‘I saw an opportunity to build a revolutionary new boat, fuel it with biodiesel, and run it as a promotion for renewable fuels. That was over 4 years ago, and it has slowly built from there. It has taken many many sacrifices though, and has been much tougher than I’d imagined by a long way.’
Looking like something out of a Batman movie, the 24 metre wave-piercing trimaran is presently undertaking a 50 city promotional tour around Europe. The purpose of the European tour is to promote the awareness and use of alternative fuels such as biodiesel. During each stopover the public has the chance to meet the crew and step aboard Earthrace itself, an opportunity taken by some 80, 000 people so far.
In March 2008, Earthrace will seek to break the official world record for circumnavigation of the globe by a powerboat. The present record is 75 days, set in 1998 by the British powerboat Cable & Wireless. At over 24,000 nautical miles, a circumnavigation of the globe is the world’s longest race — and represents the pinnacle of powerboat challenges. This will be the first time in history that an official UIM Powerboat record will be attempted using only renewable fuels.
Pete Bethune believes Earthrace has a realistic chance of completing the circumnavigation in 65 days or less. He said: ‘Smashing the record by 10 days or more is certainly feasible, although we will still be popping champagne corks if we make it in 74 and a half days. We have the coolest boat in the world and a neat team of volunteers who believe in the cause.’
Bethune hopes Earthrace will nourish and grow the European biodiesel industry and advance it as a genuinely viable alternative to petroleum diesel.
‘The vision of a world using fuel produced from sustainable sources is an idea whose time has come,’ he said. ’ By demonstrating the power, reliability and environmental safety of biodiesel, Earthrace is committed to transforming this vision into reality.’
You can check out more about the Earthrace project and her mission to race around the world for a better planet at
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