May 20, 2008
Earthrace nears Hawaii
Earthrace, the world's fastest eco-boat, (see coverage in the May 2008 Digital MARINE LOG) is set to power into Hawaii on Wednesday 21 May as part of its attempt to break the round-the-world speed record for a powerboat. The boat will stop for refueling in Oahu rather than Maui, as previously planned, for logistical reasons.
Skipper Pete Bethune and his crew are currently over 1,400 nautical miles ahead of the pace set by the round-the-world record-holder, Cable and Wireless, in 1998.
Earthrace is a 24 m tri-hull wavepiercer that is currently in day 25 of its attempt to smash the world record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe, running renewable biodiesel fuel, and with a net zero carbon footprint.
The 24,000 nautical mile route has so far taken in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the crew has already overcome obstacles such as fuel leakages and a huge backlog of traffic in the Panama Canal.
"We've been blasting through the North Pacific at an average speed of 20 knots for the past five days," says Bethune, who auctioned off his home to fund the $3 million project. "This leg has been the longest of the trip so far, and we've managed to maintain a massive lead on the world record despite having to deal with a potentially lethal water leakage in the fuel tank.
"The boat's now performing at the top of her game and weather conditions have been optimum. We're looking forward to a swift refuelling in Maui and then it's on to the Marshall Islands.
"The goal of Earthrace is to show the world that the best technology can also be sustainable. Earthrace stopping here along the race route will be a chance for the people of Hawaii to see an example of a vehicle that is 100% carbon neutral but does not skimp on performance or design."