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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Bio-powerboat in bid to break world speed record ]

Bio-powerboat in bid to break world speed record

A CONSORTIUM of local businesses is attempting to include Cyprus on a promotional tour to be undertaken by a high-tech, environmentally-friendly powerboat.

The $3 million vessel, named Earthrace, is attempting to set a new world record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe, running 100 per cent renewable biodiesel fuel, and with a net zero carbon footprint. It 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.

Earthrace is a 78-foot trimaran which will make the attempt starting from Valencia, Spain on Sunday. 

The crew hopes to complete the voyage in under 65 days. The current record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe is 74 days, 23 hours and 53 minutes. This was set by UK boat ‘Cable & Wireless Adventurer’ in 1998.

The not-for-profit project aims to promote awareness of the environment and the sustainable use of resources.

The top speed of Earthrace is around 40 knots (74km/h). When Earthrace attempts to break the speed record, however, the goal is to do 20-25 knots (37-46km/h) almost continually for 65 days. The challenge is more about keeping the boat running smoothly and efficiently for such a sustained period and beating the record than going at top speed.

Circumnavigating the globe represents the pinnacle of powerboat challenges, and at more than 24,000 nautical miles is the world’s longest speed challenge.

New Zealand skipper 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.

“Governments have a role to legislate to make biofuels happen. If it were up to market forces, biofuels wouldn’t happen at all,” he said. 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 production is sustainable.”

Earthrace is also undertaking a two-year promotional tour, visiting 100 cities around the globe. The crew meet local people, talk about their experiences, and most of all connect with people about the need to get renewable fuels into our energy mix and to inspire them to do something themselves to minimise their impact on the environment.

The local consortium is headed by Steve Collins, the Director of Cyprus ITV, which provides an internet television platform promoting the island.

“We really want Cyprus to be included in the European leg of the tour this summer as we believe that it will bring fantastic publicity and educational opportunities,” he explained.

“Having the vessel here will not only boost tourism, as Earthrace is attracting worldwide media attention, but will also promote green issues, such as renewable energy sources. This is a very important topic which requires awareness.”

He added that children will be able to board the vessel, with the crew also willing to give seminars on many bio-issues.

“It really is a unique opportunity for Cyprus to raise its international profile.”

Collins has pitched the possibility to several government departments as well as to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, “with many avenues left open to make it a reality, as long as we can come up with a small sum of money as a pledge.”

He also pleaded with anyone interested to come forward with assistance on how to make it happen.

Speaking from the UK, Earthrace spokeswoman Bev Bailey told the Mail that Cyprus is not currently included in the boat’s promotional tour.

“We are currently concentrating on the race so the tour is a bit up in the air at the moment, with changes possible,” she said.

“If we decided to come, we would require somewhere to dock, as well as accommodation and logistical help.

“We would be very excited to come as it would be a whole new audience for us.”

She added that one of the ways in which Earthrace gets its message across on sustainable living and renewable energy is through meeting many ordinary people.

“Earthrace is an amazing, phenomenal boat and it provides people with an
environmental agenda, including government and non-government organisations, the opportunity to gain exposure.

“We really would love to come to Cyprus as the more places we can get to, the better.”

Earthrace is due to pass very close to Cyprus on the last leg of its world record attempt. “The island will be one of the last landmarks the crew sees before hopefully beating the record,” Collins said.

For further information: /

Race route
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 The full record route is as follows:

Valencia - Azores – Puerto Rico - Panama Canal – Manzanillo - San Diego - Hawaii - Marshall Islands - Palau - Singapore - Kochi – Salalah - Suez Canal – Valencia.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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