Top peer-to-peer lending platform steps in to keep round the world powerboat record attempt on track
A top peer-to-peer lending platform has stepped in to keep Team Britannia’s round the world powerboat record attempt on track.
The company, FundingSecure, which has previously supported Team Britannia, has agreed to fund the completion of the 80ft powerboat that will see it fully fitted out and launched into the water.
The announcement will be made at the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company on Hayling Island, where the 80ft RIB is being built, by ocean racing legend and Team Britannia’s skipper Alan Priddy and the lending platform’s Founder Richard Luxmore.
The agreement will allow the project to finish off the fit out, including the installation of the six massive fuel tanks, engines, jets and lifting the distinctive wheelhouse into place.
The news also means that the crew can firm up the timetable for the 23,000 nautical mile record attempt.
Mr Priddy commented: “This is really great news. At every stage we have been pushing the boundaries to make the most fuel-efficient semi-wave slicing boat, and this has squeezed our budgets. Thanks to FundingSecure we can get on the water and start sea trialing her.”
“The other important news is that we have a number of other deals in the pipeline, which will enable us to complete this pioneering and technically challenging project, taking back the round the world powerboat record for Britain.”
Mr Luxmore added: “This is an exciting project that our platform is keen to support. Alan has an incredible crew, including many who have served Queen and Country. Additionally we have been impressed by the ambitious environmental programme that will greatly increase our knowledge about plastics in the world’s oceans. FundingSecure is pleased to be able to endorse both the crew and the clean seas initiative and push this amazing project forward. But none of it is possible without the support of our team of lenders. Currently we have more than 1,200 individuals who have pledged between £25 and £50,000 towards this great project. ”
The popularity of peer-to-peer lending has grown dramatically in recent years with more than a quarter of a million consumers and businesses currently utilising a peer-to-peer loan. It is no wonder that since 2010 the market has grown by over 7000 per cent to an estimated total of more than £9 billion, with £1 billion lent by platforms in the first quarter of 2017.
Work to complete the fitting out of the boat will get under way, with a revised completion date in late spring. It means that the record attempt could be launched as early as next winter, following sea trials and the team finalising their plastics testing programme, which aims to build up a unique picture of micro-plastics in the ocean.
The news follows the announcement by global logistics and shipping firm GAC that they have “significantly” stepped up their support of the project. This will include helping with a programme of activities at each of their stops, aimed at engaging with young people about the damage being caused to the marine environment by pollution, in particular the 12.7 million tons of plastic dumped in the sea every year.
Team Britannia will use a boat designed by Hampshire based Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It will slice the waves, rather than surfing them, with its super-efficient design, a variant of the “fast displacement hull.” This reduces fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent, and should make the 23,000 nautical mile trip smoother.
In addition to the fuel-efficient design, the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion developed by Portsmouth based Clean Fuel Ltd - a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier that when burnt reduces harmful emissions such as particulate matter and NOx.
Construction of the 80ft RIB started in 2016 on Hayling Island, near Portsmouth, at the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company. The hull was completed and turned in December 2016 allowing the fitting of over 2,000 closing brackets. The installation of the final bulkhead and six massive fuel tanks is under way. Once fitted, the next job will be to install the engines and jets, before the wheelhouse is craned into place.
In total more than 2,300 pieces of metal will have been welded together by master boatbuilder Paul Johnson and his team.
Mr Priddy continued: “There is lots of exciting news to come. We have been working hard over the last couple of months to put in place the funding and logistics team to help us smash the round the world powerboat record of 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes. These are now in place, or in the pipeline. This would not have been possible without my amazing crew, supporters and those working on the project - this includes many longstanding partners such as Mastervolt, Raymarine, Castoldi, and of course the incredible GAC.
“It is no exaggeration to say that without all of them I would not be here and would not be preparing for the launch our revolutionary eco boat in just a couple of months time. As we start the homeward stretch on the boat’s construction I must say a huge thanks to everyone who has been involved, sponsors, designers, builders, supporters and my crew.”
The boat will be launched in 2018, and will then commence sea trials, which will include sailing round Britain, and London to Monaco.
After Monaco, the boat will travel to Gibraltar, for a final programme of sea trials. At this point the boat will be “stripped” of all luxury items.
Finally after a nautically themed festival in Gibraltar, Team Britannia will set off on their ambitious world record attempt from the famous racing mark at Europa Point.
To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals and start and finish in the same place. The world record authorities, UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) have approved Team Britannia’s proposed route, which will start in Gibraltar and call at Puerto Rico, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.