Earthrace announces start date for new attempt at Round the World Speed Record, minus Barbados this time

Albeit without Barbados for this attempt, Pete Bethune, NZ skipper of Earthrace, has officially announced a second challenge to break the Round the World Speed Record attempt. The 2008 challenge will begin from the Vulkan Shipyard, Valencia, Spain on 1st March 2008.

The announcement was made by skipper, Pete Bethune, at a press event on the boat at the QEII Pier, Greenwich, London just before Christmas.

The proposed record attempt route for 2008 is: Valencia – Azores – Puerto Rico – Panama Canal ? Manzanillo, Mexico ? San Diego, USA ? Hawaii ? Majuro, Marshall Islands ? Koror, Palau ? Singapore ? Cochin, India ? Salalah, Oman – Suez Canal ? Valencia

Major new fuel sponsor

Pete Bethune also announced a major new fuel sponsor, SGC Energia (SGCE) based in Portugal, who will supply all the fuel required for the record attempt (165,000 litres of superior quality biodiesel).

SGCE CEO, Vianney Val?s, said: ?Earthrace is a really exciting project and an incredible hi-tech boat, and we are delighted to help by donating biodiesel for the Round the World Speed Record. She is rapidly becoming the highest-profile powerboat in the world, and our association will help to advance and create greater global awareness of the Emissions Free Liquid Fuels industry.?

New crew members

Joining the Earthrace team of Pete Bethune (skipper and CEO), Adrian Erangey (Operations Manager) and Lance Wordsworth (Stills Cameraman) for the second attempt are Adam Carlson (Boat Crew, from Sweden), Mark Russell (Boat Crew, from London, UK and US) and Tino de Freitas (Race Engineer/Boat Crew, from London/Portugal); Fiona Clark (CEO and Sponsorship Director, Ground Crew), Bev Bailey (PR and media) and Ali Bradshaw (Support Services Manager), all from London, UK; and Karolina Romanek (Liaison Officer, from Hungary).

Join the crew for the record attempt

Earthrace skipper, Pete Bethune, has announced that he is willing to share the experience with others by adding one extra paid-for crew place for each leg of the race. These places will be filled by members of the public who are willing to join in and work hard.

Prices start from around UK?5,000/US$10,000 for a crew spot on the pre-race sea trials in February (lasting 2-4 days from Valencia ? Marseilles ? Tenerife ? Lisbon ? Valencia). For a place on the record attempt itself, the cost is ?10,000/ US$20,000 for one of the shorter legs, and up to ?20,000/US$40,000 for a place on the longer legs and for the final run home to Valencia (not including transfers to and from ports).

The income will provide support for Earthrace, which operates as a not-for-profit project, promoting renewable energy. All ‘guest’ crew will be invited to the victory party in Valencia.

Pete Bethune said, ?Circumnavigating the globe represents the pinnacle of powerboat challenges, and at more than 24,000 nautical miles, is also the world’s longest race. I?d be delighted to hear from anyone who wants to be part of our amazing experience?it will be hard work, people will need to be fit and healthy, and sleeping on board isn?t exactly five star accommodation, but it will be a trip they will never forget!? If you?re interested in being part of the Earthrace crew and helping to make history, please feel free to contact Fiona.

Zero carbon footprint made possible through Down With Carbon

Unlike the previous record attempt, the new one will be made by Earthrace with a net zero carbon footprint. This is thanks to the support of Down With Carbon, a UK-based not for profit organisation, which allows consumers and companies to offset their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits. The credits are then used to invest in sustainable projects that reduce CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, whilst also benefiting local communities in developing nations.

Down With Carbon is currently investing in a project in Egypt converting waste cooking oil into biodiesel. As Earthrace is using only biodiesel during its journey around the globe, the synergy between Earthrace and Down With Carbon is clear for all to see.

Earthrace is carbon offsetting the following items to ensure that their forthcoming record breaking attempt is truly carbon neutral: all travel made by the team from now until after the record attempt; the delivery of all fuel to the refueling stops around the route; and finally, offsets to ensure that the actual biofuel being used is zero carbon neutral compared to that of fossil diesel.

?Futuristic Adventures on the High Seas?

The only official Earthrace book will be published in New Zealand later this month. Written by skipper, Pete Bethune, it tells the whole story of the Earthrace project from the very beginning. From one man?s initial idea to promote biofuel and sustainable living by breaking the Round the World Speed Record in a powerboat, through the struggles and sacrifices made in order to build and launch Earthrace, the good and bad times aboard the boat while on tour around the world, all the way through to the conclusion of the first attempt.. The book will be available to buy via the website.

New look website coming soon

Earthrace will be revealing an exciting new look website in the next few weeks. Still hosted by Net Active, who have supported the project from the very beginning, the website will be in the New Zealand colours of black and silver, and very much in keeping with the futuristic look of the Earthrace herself. We are busy working on adding an education section and schools competition, as well as new merchandise (eco-friendly t-shirts; DVD?s and posters). The new site will still have all the previous features, such as the ?Where is Earthrace? tracking system, and you can look forward to the return of the Captain?s Blog and new video blogs from the pre-record attempt race refit all the way through to the next record attempt itself.

Film cameraman and other volunteers needed

Sadly, Ryan Heron, our film cameraman on the first record attempt, is unable to join Earthrace this time around.

But maybe you, or someone you know, would like to take his place? You will need to be an experienced, professional film cameraman preferably with some knowledge of boats and the ability to keep a steady hand at around 20 knots across the ocean!

We need someone as soon as possible, from now until after the conclusion of the next record attempt, including during the pre-race refit in Valencia and the sea trials. If you?re interested, send your resume to Adrian. All expenses while on board Earthrace will be met, but we cannot cover the cost of your travel to and from the boat.

We need other volunteers too, to help with the refit in Valencia. So if you?re prepared to take orders and work hard in exchange for being part of the Earthrace team, then get in touch through the Volunteer section of the Earthrace website. All the same conditions apply ? we?ll cover food and accommodation, but cannot fund travel to and from Spain.

Can you help to give Earthrace a smooth and successful record breaking trip around the world?

Can you imagine the task for the ground crew travelling literally all around the world ahead of Earthrace, organising the logistics for each of the race refuelling stops so that the boat can get in and out as quickly as possible?

It would really help us if you, or anyone you know, would be able to volunteer their time in each place the boat will stop at (see the World Record Route above).

It could be helping the ground crew with translation, or a PR company who can help with advance notice and media liaison when Earthrace arrives, being a ?runner? who knows where to find local produce to restock the boat; or someone who can offer the ground crew free accommodation. If you think you can help in any way, please let us know as soon as possible. You will be playing a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and successful record breaking trip! Contact Karolina, letting her know how you can help, and where.

Eartha, our mascot

Our mascot, Eartha (who has no arms or legs, but has a great personality) wants more friends on Facebook. She?s had a fantastic time meeting all sorts of people on the latest tour as you will see from her photos.

This is an excerpt from Eartha?s Facebook:

?I am the official mascot of Earthrace. I am very cute and I have no arms and no legs. Some people says I am not for real, that’s making me sad. When I am sad and angry my ears are pointing forward. All the other time my ears are pointing backwards.?

How can you resist? Drop in and ask to be her friend.

And finally?

Our message is that people can still lead amazing lives while also being clever by doing something about what they do to reduce their environmental impact.

Thank you for all your continuing support of Earthrace. We wish you a wonderful year in 2008 and hope that you will stay on board with us throughout the rest of the Earthrace story.

From Pete Bethune and the Earthrace team.
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