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Around the world in 65 days

Edward Green |
<img src="http://www.poandpo.com/slikezaclanke3/earthrace_1m.jpg" class="slikadesno" alt="earthrace">First powerboat to go around the Earth, using only renewable fuel, will start its journey in Valencia, Spain. Earthrace is an extraordinary boat my many means.

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Now it's official: Earthrace will begin the race around the Earth on 1st March 2008. The announcement was made at Greenwich, London, a well-known eco-place of United Kingdom. Greenwich is home of several sustainable energy programmes, it is a Beacon Authority for air quality and it collects green and kitchen waste. The eco-environment for eco-announcement, we may say.

New Zealander Pete Bethune will be the skipper of powerboat Earthrace and challenge to begin in Valencia, Spain, will be attempt to set a new record that we're been waiting since 1998 when British boat "Cable and Wireless Adventurer" set a record of 75 days.

Earthrace is an extraordinary boat my many means. First, there's an attempt to set a new world record. Second, she has a unique design and the way of dealing with the sea. Earthrace is a wave-piercing trimaran. Trimaran means three hulls and piercing means that she goes through waves, not over them. That means that Earthrace goes at almost straight line and thus is much faster. Earthrace can be submerged up to seven meters (24ft) and ballast tanks that can hold 2.5 tons of water control the piercing.

The boat was tested in waters around skipper's home continent, and New Zealand's sea showed that Earthrace behave nicely and can stand rough waves. Although crew came out a little bit green: They described the experience of submerging and wave piercing as the scariest thing they had ever experienced. But, Earthrace was fast.

Third, and most important fact is that Earthrace will use Biodiesel fuel and she will produce no carbon at all. Using biofuel, Earthrace can achieve speed of 40 knots but the goal is to run at 20-25 knots for 65 days. To go smooth and efficiently for two month, that is the real challenge.

Earthrace give power from two Cummins Mercruiser QSC-540 engines, chosen because of low emissions, high power to weight ratio, and technology that improves performance but reduces emissions. Calibre Boats, known by hi-tech composite boats, built the boat in New Zealand. It took 14 months to built Earthrace but now, almost two years after her maiden voyage, we see that Calibre did a very good job.

So, while many of us talk about eco-this and eco-that, Earthrace is a living example of what can be done. Since the launching the team works on cutting-down the CO2 emissions; the underwater paint is non-toxic; she is the first boat to use hemp composite which is renewable; lubricants and fluids for hydraulics are also renewable; the hull is extremely efficient which reduces fuel consumption...

You can see that Earthrace team if paying attention to every single detail with two goals in mind: to set up a new world record and to do that in an eco-way.

To demonstrate his faith in that 3 million dollars project, for which skipper Pete Bethune and his wife sold everything they had, Mr. Bethune and two crewmembers underwent liposuction and donated ten litres of human fat, enough for Earthrace to go 15 kilometres. While we can't ask you to do the same, we can ask you to follow this attempt not because of world record, but because Earthrace's crew will show that it can be done using only renewable fuel.


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