A group of ambitious British engineers are attempting to smash a world record when they sail from Cornwall to New York in a 112ft wave-piercing powerboat, writes former British champion powerboat racer Richard Carr.
2 day challenge
Team Great Britain is hoping to travel across the Atlantic in under 48 hours and on a single tank of fuel. The feat, if completed, will smash the current record set by Aga Khan’s powerboat Destriero of two days, ten hours and 54 minutes.
Businessman Richard George is leading the team ahead of its 3,100 mile trip and even claimed that the boat will be capable of carrying commercial passengers.
During the challenge, the powerboat will hold a seven-man crew and will travel from Cornwall to New York at an average speed of 65mph.
The current record was set in 1992 and Mr George hopes that the boat’s carbon-fibre shell will enable it to complete the trip in just a single tank of fuel.
“It will be a wave-piercing catamaran that, given the right conditions, will be able to complete the crossing in 48 hours, while using a fraction of the fuel of former competitors,” he said.
“The idea is not only to win the record back for Britain but to develop a boat that will go on to influence the industry in terms of efficiency.”
The first ever world record was set back in 1986 by Sir Richard Branson whose Virgin Atlantic Challenger II travelled across the Atlantic in three days, eight hours and 31 minutes.
However, Team Great Britain’s £15m project is expected to smash that time and the current record when it sets sail in the summer of 2018.
Team Great Britain has acquired some big names to help them complete the challenge including 82 year-old navigator Dag Pike, who was part of Branson’s team back in 1986. Powerboat enthusiast and current owner of the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II, Dan Stevens, will also form part of the team.
“The boats are built for power and speed with little thought to how much emissions they pump out.
“It got me thinking that there had to be a way to do something based around efficiency that gave off a positive message.
“It’s always been something that interests me but to do it these days you have to have a boat that is not only fast but also very efficient,” said Stevens.
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