The fastest eco boat on the planet will attempt to break the round the world speed record using fuel made from human fat.
Pete Bethune, the New Zealand skipper of Earthrace, said the attempt to circumnavigate the globe would begin from Valencia in Spain on March 1 next year.
Bethune and his wife mortgaged their house and sold everything they own to help make the project happen, while continuing to seek support from sponsors. Record breaking attempt: Earthrace will attempt to circumnavigate the globe running 100 per cent biodiesel, and with a net zero carbon-footprint.
Earthrace is a 78 foot alternative fuel powered wave-piercing trimaran, it can carry 3,000 gallons of fuel, and weighs 23 tonnes when fully fuelled
Demonstrating further commitment to the cause, Bethune underwent liposuction and donated enough to produce 100ml of biofuel, while two other, larger volunteers also had the procedure, making a total of 10 litres of human fat.
This in turn produced seven litres of biofuel, which could help the boat travel about 15km.
Earthrace is fuelled on 100 per cent biodiesel and has a net zero carbon footprint.
The announcement was made at the QE2 pier in Greenwich where Earthrace is being hosted by Greenwich Council until January 1.
Circumnavigating the globe represents the pinnacle of powerboat challenges, and more than 24,000 nautical miles is the world’s longest speed challenge. Pete Bethune, the New Zealand skipper of Earthrace, believes the boat can help advance biodiesel as a genuinely viable alternative to petroleum diese
The current record holder is British boat Cable and Wireless Adventurer which took 75 days in 1998.
From the start in Valencia the boat will cross the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and travel through the Panama and Suez Canals..
From there the boat will cross the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans as it thunders along the planet’s circumference at a maximum speed of 40 knots.
When it attempts to break the Round the World Speed Record, the goal is to do 20-25 knots (23-29mph) almost continually for 65 days.
The not-for-profit project aims to promote awareness of the environment and the sustainable use of resources. Inside Earthrace: The not-for-profit project aims to promote awareness of the environment and the sustainable use of resources
Earthrace, which cost about £1.5 million to build, can carry 3,000 gallons of fuel, and weighs 23 tonnes when fully fuelled.
The boat is designed to cut through waves rather than sail over which enables the boat to go faster through big seas compared to conventional craft.
Bethune believes Earthrace can help advance biodiesel as a genuinely viable alternative to petroleum diesel.
He said: “Governments have a role to legislate to make biofuels happen. Route to success: The boat will cross the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans and travel through the Panama and Suez Canals
“If it were up to market forces, biofuels wouldn’t happen at all.
“Politicians in Western Europe must be prepared to stand up to the oil industry, and be more supportive of the biofuels industry to make sure the production of biofuels is sustainable.”
A successful attempt by Earthrace would mark the first time in history that an official UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique - The International Powerboating Association) Powerboat world record has been broken using only renewable fuel.