Friday, June 1, 2007


Sad news from the Kiwi boat, Earthrace, as they're having to pull out of their attempt to set a world record for circumnavigating the globe.

Currently in Malaga, Spain, skipper Pete Bethune has figured that they're not going to be able to make it back to San Diego where they left on April 7. They needed to complete the circumnavigation by June 21 to break the record of 75 days set by the British boat Cable & Wireless in 1998.

Earthrace is biodiesel-fuelled, and the crew's been trying to raise awareness of the myriad uses of biodiesel as an alternative energy source.

I've been the following their progress pretty closely, and it's been just of those things - one bit of bad luck after another. They hit some bad storms in the Med, which slowed Earthrace's speed from 40km/h to 18.5km/h as it battled 5m head seas and 92km/h wind gusts. They found a 2m crack in the floor of the hull. Like all showstring sponsorship budgets, they've hit money problems. And worst of all they were detained in Guatemala after striking a fishing boat and drowning one of the crew. (A judge later released them saying it was an accident.)

But like all good Kiwis, they're talking about trying again next year...

* Photo courtesy Jim Burkett

1 comment:

Michael said...

Hi Kristen - What a pity! I thought the idea of their voyage was a good one. My daughter's boyfriend is a bio-diesel buff. He collects used cooking oil from Chinese food restaurants (they use the best oil, he claims), filters it and converts it to fuel his VW. Cheap and even smells, well, like Chinese egg rolls!