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Day 30: Eco-boat repairs engines, on way to Palau


Day 30: Earthrace eco-boat repairs engines and thunders towards Palau

London/Marshall Islands, 28 May 2008 – Earthrace underwent a speedy repair to its damaged engine in the Marshall Islands and was on its way to Palau within four hours.

Earthrace is a 78ft wave-piercing trimaran that runs on biodiesel and is currently in day 30 and the eighth leg of its global challenge.

The crew aim to set a new world record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe, running renewable biodiesel fuel, and with a net zero carbon footprint. The boat, under Kiwi captain Pete Bethune, is still ahead in the attempt to beat the 10-year-old speed record of 74 days.

One of the boat’s fuel lines burst in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, forcing it to run on one engine for most of the leg stretching from Hawaii to the Marshall Islands. The ground crew worked around the clock to source the replacement component before Earthrace arrived. The part was eventually shipped from Perth, Australia to Majuro in the Marshall Islands within a matter of days.

Captain Bethune, speaking from the Earthrace cabin said: “There was a real sense of relief as we idled, still only on one engine, into the amazing lagoon of Majuro, and there was a palpable drop in tension amongst crew.

“It was a good effort by the ground crew to get the part there before us, in fact they nearly had a continental flight drop it off to us en route, but they couldn’t reach us on radio in this part of the ocean.

“I looked down below me as we pulled into harbour and the lagoon floor was full of sea urchins and shellfish, and hundreds of colourful tropical fish ambled in around us for a look. Tropical trees and coconut palms lined the various atolls and islands that were spread around us, and crystal blue water revealed the astonishing corals some 30 metres beneath. It’s not a bad job to have, I thought to myself.

“In the end our stop in Majuro took four hours, which was longer than I’d have liked, but then we’re back on two engines now, and I reckon it’s a fair trade. Palau, here we come.”

The boat is now en route to Koror in Palau, where it is scheduled to arrive on Sunday 1 June.

Day 30

Last 24 hours: 329nm (running on one engine, plus port stop)
Total Distance covered: 12,300nm
Ahead of world record: 2100nm
Average speed last 24 hours: 13.7kn (on one engine)
GPS Location: 07 08.084N, 169 14.790E
ETA Koror – Palau: Sunday early morning (1st June)


Notes to editors:

High resolution, copyright-free photographs and video footage are available to download from our FTP site:

About Earthrace

Earthrace is a 24m (78ft) tri-hull wavepiercer that has been designed and built specifically to get the record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe. She is an advanced endurance vessel, capable of submarining up to 7m (23ft) underwater as she powers across oceans.

The goal of Earthrace is to set a new world record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe, running 100% renewable biodiesel fuel, and with a net zero carbon footprint.

From the start in Sagunto, the boat will cross the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and travel through the Panama and Suez Canals as it thunders around the planet’s circumference at a maximum speed of 40 knots, attempting to break the round-the-world speed record. The full record route is as follows:

Sagunto (Spain) – Horta (Azores) – San Juan (Puerto Rico) – Colon (Panama Canal, Panama) – Manzanillo (Mexico) – San Diego (USA) – Maalaea Harbor, Maui (Hawaii) – Majuro (Marshall Islands) – Koror (Palau) –Singapore – Kochi/Cochin (India) – Salalah (Oman) – Port Said (Suez Canal, Egypt) – Sagunto (Spain)

Earthrace is run as a not-for-profit venture, with a boat, ground and London HQ crew made up of international volunteers.

You can find out in real time exactly where Earthrace is now by going to and clicking on the ‘Where is Earthrace’ globe.

© Scoop Media

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