Sealegs Smashes English Channel Record
Auckland, 22 June 2005: Sealegs founder Maurice Bryham has succeeded in his attempt to break the world record for crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle.
Driving the Sealegs 5.6m rigid inflatable amphibious boat, Bryham made the crossing from Dover to Sangette, near Calais on the French Coast in 43 minutes and 12 seconds. This more than halved the previous record for an amphibious vehicle set last year by UK entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson with a time of 1hr 40min 6 secs.
“It was tough going with plenty of swell out in the Channel, but I’m delighted a New Zealand designed and built boat has smashed the record,” he says. “ I’m told that conditions were described as moderate for the Channel and at times it was exciting as the boat went airborne going over the wakes of large ships.”
“So it was a great test for the boat which performed flawlessly. It certainly helped to prove the durability and reliability of the Sealegs concept.” According to Bryham the craft reached a top speed of 33mph but averaged around 30mph for the crossing.
The record attempt attracted large crowds around Dover Harbour to watch the boat leaving, shortly after 12.15pm local time. There were three people on board the craft — Sealegs founder Bryham, UK Sealegs distributor Nick Fox and the editor of UK’s largest powerboat magazine.