Alan Priddy – “We will launch our round the world record attempt in October”

Sailing, Sports, Yachting — By on January 16, 2017 at 5:36 PM


Allan Priddy

Allan Priddy

Alan Priddy has confirmed that the Team Britannia will launch their round the world record bid in October.

The ocean racing legend made the announcement earlier today, Monday 16th January, in Portsmouth.

The decision comes after two further technical issues were discovered in December, both of which have now been resolved.

Mr Priddy commented: “The boat is coming on in leaps and bounds, but last month we identified two additional minor problems. These were only discovered following the operation to turn the hull over lifting it out of the special upside jig it had been sitting in.

“As soon as she was turned our amazing builder discovered two further minor issues, which because of the Christmas shut down, could not be resolved immediately. This put pressure on the timetable we were working to and would have pushed the start date toward the edge of the weather window, possibly making for a very bumpy and unpleasant voyage. So we will launch our round the world record attempt in October.”

Mr Priddy has already talked extensively about the importance of the weather and identifying the optimum time for the record attempt, which is why the Team have their own dedicated meteorologist who will provide constant updates on conditions and emerging weather systems.

“Simply put, poor weather could add days to the record attempt and require significant additional fuel to be used and when you are doing everything to minimise these sorts of issues you would be mad to take the risk,” he said.

The revolutionary 80ft eco-boat is still expected to be launched in the spring, before undergoing an extensive programme of sea trails and visits to events supporting the project’s sponsors and partners, such as Raymarine, Sebago and the veterans charity Blesma.

Mr Priddy continued: “The most important thing for the project is making sure everything is 100 per cent right. This means constantly reviewing every element of the design and build in consultation with our team of builders at the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company, to ensure we have the best vessel ever built and I am confident this is what we have.

“Next month we will be announcing a full programme of testing and visits, which will include more details of the celebrations in Gibraltar in October to mark the start of the round the world record attempt.”

Mr Priddy is also keen to have a formal naming ceremony in Portsmouth’s historic dockyard to thank the more than 250 people based in the South who have worked on the project from designers, welders and financiers to painters, tank manufactures and engineers.

After the naming ceremony the semi wave-piercing vessel will travel to Gibraltar’s Ocean Village, where she will be based for sea trials and the record attempt.

The Project Team have also published a new set of photos on their website

Mr Priddy concluded: “Ron Dennis, the titan of F1, got it right when he said in the pursuit of excellence there is no finishing point and that it is what we are striving for and why I am so pleased with how the boat looks and how the team is performing.

“We really have a team of world record breakers and why we are looking forward to our October start.”

The boat was designed by Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It has been designed to slice the waves, rather than surfing them, with its super-efficient design, a variant of the “fast displacement hull”. This will reduces fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and should make the 23,000 mile trip smoother.

In addition to the fuel efficient design the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion developed by Clean Fuel Ltd, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier, that when burnt reduces harmful emissions such as particulate matter and NOx.

Inside the boat will be the latest radar, safety and communications equipment from Raymarine, Iridium Communications and Standard Horizon.

To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals 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, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.

Team Britannia is a multi-million pound British bid to design and build the fastest and most fuel efficient semi-wave slicing powerboat to circumnavigate the globe for the much-coveted UIM world record, currently held by the New Zealander Pete Bethune at 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes.

The World Record Authorities (UIM) dictate that for a recognised circumnavigation the craft has to pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and must start and finish the journey in the same place.

The boat is a completely new design from Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It has been designed in the UK and will be constructed in the Portsmouth area out of marine-grade aluminium. It encompasses “an exceptionally efficient hull”, which will cut fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.

In addition to the design the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifying agent from Clean Fuel Ltd. This will reduce harmful emissions such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.

The effects of the emulsified fuel on the engines and the emissions will be monitored for the duration of the voyage and the results published online.

The boat is being built by the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company based in Hampshire, out of marine-grade aluminium. The metal was produced by Blackburn metals and laser-cut by specialist firm Aalco in Southampton.

The whole construction process is expected to take around nine months before it starts a programme of sea trials around the UK.

The boat will also showcase nearly a dozen leading marine companies, which are supporting the project with their expertise and equipment.

Team Britannia will launch their record bid in spring 2017 from Europa Point in Gibraltar.

Boat specifications:

  • Length – 80 feet
  • Internal beam – 13 feet
  • External beam – 19 feet
  • Draft – 30 inches
  • Material – Marine grade aluminium, including nearly 12km of framing
  • Hull thickness – 8-10 mm
  • Build weight – 20 tonnes
  • Range 4,000 nautical miles
  • Engines – Two customised Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinders
  • Power – Each engine is capable of generating 500HP at 2,000 RPM
  • Water jets – Two Castoldi turbo drive 490 HC
  • Fuel – Emulsified diesel (diesel, water and a unique emulsion developed by Clean Fuel and its partners)
  • Navigation station – Raymarine
  • Communications equipment – Standard Horizon & Iridium Everywere
  • Batteries – Mastervolt
  • Total crew – 20 (12 onboard with 5 rotating on and off the boat plus 3 shore based)
  • Crew clothing – Sebago


For more information and regular updates visit: or @team_britannia


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