Former Royal Marine’s new round-the-world record attempt is Jez-t the ticket
Taunton’s Jeremy (Jez) Scarratt is returning to the seas in civvies by stepping aboard the crew of Team Britannia, a new round-the-world record attempt.
The former Royal Marine will join the round-the-world powerboat, which hopes to cut up to seven days off the current record of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes, held by New Zealander Pete Bethune.
Team Britannia, led by British ocean racing legend Alan Priddy, will use a revolutionary eco boat that carves through the waves, rather than surfing them. The super-efficient design, will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and make the 23,000 nautical mile trip smoother and faster.
The 80ft aluminium boat which is being built in Hampshire, will be crewed by a team of 12, including up to five wounded, and injured servicemen and women on each of the seven legs of the voyage who are being supported by veterans charity Blesma.
Mr Priddy commented: “I am delighted to welcome Jez to the Team Britannia crew. A key aspect of Team Britannia’s mission is to recognise the outstanding service of our armed forces, which is why I was keen to recruit ex-servicemen and women to be in my crew. Jez’s determination and courage will be a real asset to the team as we aim to bring the world record back to Great Britain.”
Jez added: “Team Britannia is an amazing opportunity as well as a huge physical and mental challenge. Serving as a Royal Marine certainly isn’t a cushy job, and hopefully that has prepared me for what will be an arduous and demanding voyage.
“Alan has brought together a great team, blending experience and skill. Everyone onboard the boat has undertaken an extensive training programme and we are looking forward to setting off and smashing the world record.”
Jez, who comes from Newcastle-Under-Lyme but now lives in Taunton, will be one of several wounded and injured (WIS) ex-service personnel in Team Britannia’s crew. Jez sustained the loss of his lower right leg in 1982.
Having served 14 months on HMS Brighton as a Royal Marine, Jez is certainly no stranger to the open seas – he counts chasing a Russian warship off the coast of Iceland in a force 10 gale as just one of his nautical experiences!
Team Britannia will not be the only occasion when Jez has represented Britain on the global stage. In 2012 and 2016 he took part in the Paralympic opening ceremony.
In addition to fuel-efficient design, the boat will use a pollution cutting Water-in-Diesel (WiDE) fuel emulsion power the two race-tuned Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinder engines. The boat is being built by the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company who are based near Portsmouth and will be fitting the latest navigation and communications equipment from the British marine industry.
The boat will be launched in late 2017 and will then commence sea trials. The record attempt will get underway next year using the iconic Europa Point in Gibraltar as its timing mark.
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.
Mr Priddy concluded: “We are at a crucial and exciting point in the project. The boat is being built, with the hull being turned over on Monday and we are putting together a top team, both shore-based and those who will take part in this epic challenge.
“I really can’t underplay the importance of getting the right team together if we are to demolish the current record, so I am glad we have Jez’s physical, mental resilience and sense of humour in the crew.”