BRITISH FROM START TO FINISH Team Britannia’s round the world powerboat project has not been without its problems, reports onboard journalist Clive Tully, but everything is still on track.
isitors to Ocean Village in October 2016 would have seen the music stage festooned with Team Britannia banners, or the sponsor logo-adorned Global Challenge shirts worn by members of the team. It should have been all about the run up to the departure from Gibraltar of a purpose-built 80ft boat making an
attempt to break the 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes record for circumnavigating the world by powerboat. But when things didn’t quite go to plan, they decided to come anyway, as Team Britannia boss Alan Priddy explains: “We started building our superboat in June 2016,” he says, “in the knowledge that we were on a fairly tight timeline.
The best chances of a successful circumnavigation rest with the weather, and that means setting off on the 23,000 mile voyage in either spring or autumn. Had everything gone to plan with the boat construction, we would have been fine for October, which is why we organised a whole string of complementary events, including the Thundercats racing weekend, the music festival, and what should have been a gala dinner on board the Sunborn floating hotel the night before our departure.” “This isn’t a typical boat build by any stretch of the imagination,” adds Priddy. “As the boat took shape we saw the projected launch date become more and more difficult to keep. We solved all the technical problems one by one, but inevitably they entailed delays. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you’re pushing back the boundaries of design and technology.”
Team Britannia with Bear Grylls at ABC boatyard