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Earthrace eco-boat aims for fastest refuelling

Earthrace eco-boat aims for fastest refuelling of world record attempt in India

London/Cochin (Kochi), 12 June 2008: Earthrace, the world’s fastest eco-boat, is expected to arrive at Cochin Port on Saturday 14 June, for the tenth port stop of its world record attempt. The boat, which is currently 1,700 miles ahead of the current world record holder, is currently battling Monsoon weather and 3m waves off the coast of Sri Lanka, and has reduced her speed to 16kn as a precaution against stressing the boat’s superstructure following major repairs in Singapore.

The crew are hoping for the fastest port stop in the race, aiming for a rapid 90 minute turnaround with the help of local supporters.

Earthrace is a 24m tri-hull wavepiercer that runs on biofuel and is on day 46 of its attempt to break the world record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe. The boat is currently 1,700 miles ahead of the world record pace, set by the British Cable and Wireless team in 1998.

The boat had sustained damage after hitting sea debris on departure from Palau and had to have its drive shaft and propeller replaced in Singapore. Although the crew remained ahead of the world record time, they lost about 1,500 miles from their lead. The speedy turnaround in Cochin will help the crew to claw back valuable time which was lost during these essential repair works.

The crew has relied on the generosity of a number of local companies that have stepped forward to help Earthrace have the fastest port stop in the race – a record within a record! The Cochin Port Trust, GAC Shipping Agents, Incredible India Tourism and Michaels Land Resort have all played a vital role in boosting Earthrace’s chances of smashing the world record.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the local support here in India,” said Skipper Pete Bethune. “If we manage to refuel the boat, stock up on provisions and get on our way again within the 90 minute target we’ll claw back some vital lost time.

“We’re proud to be stopping in Cochin, as they have a strong connection to one of the greatest figures in nautical history. Vasco da Gama was the first person to ever circumnavigate the globe, and he died and was buried here in Cochin. We’re following in his footsteps over five centuries later, but with a couple of engines and a lot more horsepower!”

When Earthrace leaves Cochin it will head to Salalah, Oman, with British Guest Crew, David Howard, joining the team. Keep up-to-date with Earthrace’s progress via the live satellite tracker at www.earthrace.net

- ends -

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