Home Associations Revolutionary anti-mosquito wristbands to protect Team Britannia from dangers of Zika

Revolutionary anti-mosquito wristbands to protect Team Britannia from dangers of Zika

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Team Britannia logoA revolutionary anti-mosquito wristband will protect Team Britannia from the dangers of Zika. 

The wristbands, from the MFF Group, contain more than five billion tiny droplets of a completely natural mosquito repellent called Geraniol. The micro-droplets are released from the “snappy bands” through movement. 

Every time the bands are moved and reattached to the arm, hundreds of thousands of tiny bubbles of the repellent are released.

The wristbands will be worn throughout the 23,000mile record attempt, as the 80ft single hulled powerboat passes through a number of the areas that have been blighted by Zika.

Along side the wristband Team Britannia will also trial a prototype micro-diffuser from the Essex based company, which contains the world’s first environmentally friendly larvicide.

Ocean racing legend and Team skipper Alan Priddy commented: “Mosquitos are one of the biggest killers around the world, spreading disease and misery to hundreds of millions of people, but until now the only protection from this pest has been a cocktail of strong chemicals.

“We are delighted to be working with the MFF Group in demonstrating a number of their environmentally products. These include their new anti-mosquito wristbands, which have been wrapped in Geraniol and their micro diffuser containing Kulicide, the world’s only eco mosquito larvicide.”

Zika virus is spread from the bite of mosquitos. Infected adults can develop mild symptoms – fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes – but they usually recover after a week or two.

However the disease is devastating for unborn children, leading to a condition doctors call microcephaly. This is where the baby is born with a small or collapsed head, which affects the development of the brain and leaves the child severely disabled. Worryingly there is no specific treatment for the virus and there is currently no vaccine.

The boat will be traveling along what has been dubbed ‘Zika alley’, running from Puerto Rico, through the Panama Cannel and up in to Mexico, however cases of this terrible disease have been reported as far away as Spain, Singapore and even Samoa.

Mr Priddy continued: “For too long the cure to preventing mosquitos has been almost as bad of the problems they cause. Spraying toxic chemicals, which kill huge numbers of insects such as bees before entering the food chain. Now there is a solution – a preventive wristband and diffuser which are effective and don’t damage the environment.”

The wristbands will be worn by all members of the crew and including those based on the land and the logistics team from GAC, while two diffusers will protect the crew quarters and wheelhouse.

David Jones, Sales Director of the MFF Group commented: “Mosquito related diseases kill between 750,000 – 1 million people every year and incapacitate another 200 million. This makes this tiny bug the world’s deadliest animal.

“The current response to this pandemic is to spray vast areas with toxic chemicals in a vain attempt to eradicate this pest. While this might provide some short term relief, the cure is almost as bad as the problem, this is why we have seen demonstrations against large scale spraying in the US – But the active ingredients we use in our wristbands and diffuser are different.”

His colleague Steve Kemp, Chief Executive of the MFF group continued: “We are pioneering the use of innovative and natural products like Geraniol, while developing new ones like Kulicide. The latter product is unique, a break thorough in the fight against mosquitos born diseases. It is a natural and environmentally safe product, which only targets mosquito larva, preventing them from developing into mature disease-carrying adults. It doesn’t harm, or affect any other form of wild life or vegetation and can be used with out breathing apparatus or other forms of safety clothing.

“Independent tests show Kulicide to be highly effective in the fight against mosquitos, while not killing other wildlife, like bees as has happened in Florida. This is why we are pleased that Team Britannia have selected both our snappy bands and revolutionary micro diffuser to use on their record attempt.”

Team Britannia’s boat has been designed by 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.

In addition to the fuel efficient design the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier, from UK company Clean Fuel that when burnt reduces harmful emissions such as particulate matter and NOx.

Inside the boat will be the latest radar, safety and communications equipment from Raymarine and Iridium Communications.

The boat will be launched in October before commencing two weeks of sea trials before setting off the record attempt on 23rd October 2016 from the iconic Europa Point in Gibraltar.

To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator 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.

Team Britannia is a multi-million pound British bid to design and build the fastest and most fuel efficient semi-wave slicing powerboat to circumnavigate the globe for the much-coveted UIM world record, currently held by the New Zealander Pete Bethune at 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes.

The World Record Authorities (UIM) dictate that for recognised circumnavigation the craft has to pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and must start and finish the journey in the same place.

The boat is a completely new design from Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It has been designed in the UK and will be constructed in the Portsmouth area out of marine-grade aluminium. It encompasses “an exceptionally efficient hull”, which will cut fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.

In addition to the design the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifying agent from Clean Fuel Ltd. This will reduce harmful emissions such as particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide.

The effects of the emulsified fuel on the engines and the emissions will be monitored for the duration of the voyage and the results published online.

The boat is being built by the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company based in Hampshire, out of marine-grade aluminium. The metal was produced by Blackburn metals and router cut by specialist firm Aalco in Southampton.

The boat will also showcase nearly a dozen leading marine companies, which are supporting the project with their expertise and equipment.

Team Britannia will launch their record bid on 23rd October 2016 from Europa Point in Gibraltar.

Boat specifications:

  • Length – 80 feet
  • Internal beam – 13 feet
  • External beam – 19 feet
  • Draft – 30 inches
  • Material – Marine grade aluminium, including nearly 12km of framing
  • Hull thickness – 8mm
  • Build weight – 15 tonnes
  • Range 4,000 nautical miles
  • Engines – Two customised Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinders
  • Power – Each engine is capable of generating 500HP at 2,000 RPM
  • Water jets – Two Castoldi turbo drive 490 HC
  • Fuel – Emulsified diesel (diesel, water and a unique emulsion developed by Clean Fuel and its partners)
  • Navigation station – Raymarine
  • Crew – 12

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