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Celtic Cop joins round-the-world powerboat record attempt

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Retired police officer Alan Savage (46) set to join the crew of Team Britannia the British round-the-world powerboat record attempt.

The Northern Irishman will join the record attempt, which hopes to break the current record of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes, held by New Zealander Pete Bethune by more than a week.

Team Britannia, led by British ocean racing legend Alan Priddy, will use a revolutionary eco boat, which has been designed and built in the UK. The boat encompassing a ground-breaking design the boat will allow it to slice through the waves, rather than surfing them, or ploughing through them. This super-efficient design will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and make the 23,000 nautical mile trip faster.

The boat will be crewed by a team of 12, including up to five wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (WIS) on each of the seven legs of the voyage who are being supported by the limbless veterans charity Blesma.

Mr Priddy commented: “We are delighted to welcome Alan to the crew for the whole voyage and help us break the world record. After meeting Alan 14 years ago, I knew that he lives and breathes boats and water. His nautical experience, including on the lifeboats and passion will bring a real bonus to our stellar team.”

Alan Savage added: “After hearing Alan speak about his previous attempt in the Spirit of Cardiff some years ago, his story lit the touch paper of my ambition to join him on his next attempt. I’m quite a driven person with a passion for being on the water, so being part of Team Britannia fulfils a personal ambition to be part of an amazing team that will bring the world record back to Great Britain.”

Alan, who comes from Northern Ireland will be an Assistant Bosun on the Team Britannia record attempt.

Alan first got interested in RIBs and boating due to a friendship with another Team Britannia crew-member back in 1999. In 2000 he became a volunteer lifeboat crew-member on the Donaghadee lifeboat in Northern Ireland, reluctantly stepping down after five years when he moved to Annan in Scotland.

Since moving to the picturesque town on the north coast of the Solway Firth, Alan has been active in his local community. In 2014 he  joined the management committee of the Annan Harbour Action Group where he is both a Trustee and the groups secretary. The Charity is working to restore the town’s old harbour making it accessible and user-friendly for the entire community.

In addition to fuel-efficient design, the boat will use a pollution cutting Water-in-Diesel (WiDE) fuel emulsion power the two race-tuned Fiat 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 record attempt will get underway in October 2017 using the iconic Europa Point in British Gibraltar as the official 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 just a couple of months away from launching the boat and getting underway on the one of the most difficult and exciting world records attempts.  Crucial to our success is making sure we have an outstanding crew both on the boat and shore-based and I am confident we have and Alan is a great addition to this.”

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 a 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 laser-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 in October 2017 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 – 8-10 mm
  • Build weight – 20 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
  • Communications equipment – Standard Horizon & Iridium Everywhere
  • Batteries – Mastervolt
  • Total crew – 20 (12 onboard with 5 rotating on and off the boat plus 3 shore based)
  • Crew clothing – Sebago

For more information and regular updates visit: www.teambritannia.co.uk or @team_britannia

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