Team Britannia skipper Alan Priddy will announce that his 80ft powerboat will set off from Gibraltar on Sunday 12th March — a revised date appointed after delays caused by technical problems last month.
Alan will make the announcement in Gibraltar ahead of the ThunderCat speedboat racing in Catalan Bay.
“My team and I have been busy studying more than 10 years of weather data to identify the next available window for the record attempt,” Alan said. “I am delighted to confirm the new start date of Sunday 12th March 2017.”
The delayed start was caused by a technical problem with two stern hull plates — an irrevocable safety problem which meant the plates had to be re-cut and work on the boat had to all but stop.
The delay meant that Alan and his crew missed an important weather window which would have allowed them to avoid the worst of the hurricane and typhoon seasons during their 23,000-mile voyage, which routes across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and through the Panama and Suez canals.
Alan said: “Earlier in the month we had to announce the delay of our departure due to an irrevocable safety problem with the two stern hull plates.
“This has now been rectified and the new plates will arrive shortly, allowing the plating of the hull to be completed. Once in place, we can turn the hull over and slide the engines, Castoldi jets, and fuel tanks into place, before craning into place the wheelhouse.
“Then we can start on the kit out, including installing the high tech communications and navigation equipment from industry leaders Raymarine.”
It’s now expected that the boat will be launched in November for an extended programme of sea trials, ensuring it exceeds all safety requirements before setting off on the global voyage.
Alan added: “This is a great news for the project and I want to thank my whole team, both onboard and shore based — especially Aalco and the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company for their unstinting efforts in making sure we have the very best boat.
“There hard work and dedication will maximise our chances of smashing that world record next year.
“I also want to thank all of our supporters and sponsors who continue to make this project possible. Their unwavering support and commitment has been a source of inspiration to us all.
“Finally, I am pleased to confirm we have some big announcements going forward, from who will be on board, our official timekeeper, to the international clothing supplier who will be ensuring our team have the very best possible kit.”
To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, 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, Acapulco, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman, and Malta to take on fuel.