Army veteran set to join Alan Priddy’s record boat race bid

Clipper Round the World Race crew member Simon Speirs who has died after being swept overboard during the round-the-world yacht race

Portsmouth legend Knox-Johnston leads tributes to sailor killed during Clipper race

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AN ARMY veteran is the latest to join the crew hoping to take on a round-the-world powerboat record attempt.

Decorated soldier Ray Finch, 50, has joined the Portsmouth-based squad Team Britannia, led by ocean racing legend Alan Priddy.

He is the latest injured veteran to sign on for the 24,000-mile voyage, in which Mr Priddy hopes to smash the current record of 60 days 23 hours and 49 minutes.

Speaking of his new addition, Mr Priddy said: ‘Ray contributes to our impressive group of veterans, which makes this challenge so unique and gives us so much to be proud of.

‘Ray’s career in the infantry and as former boxer proves he is up for a challenge – there is no better quality than that.’

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

Ray, of Preston, added: ‘As well as smashing the world record, I also want this record attempt to be about proving my disability is not the end of living an active life, and that despite giving up on challenges after I was retired from the army, there is still fire left in my belly.’

Team Britannia were due to set off on their epic round-the-world trip in October, but delays in construction meant the voyage was put back to March.

That could change again depending on weather conditions, say team officials.

The 80ft powerboat is being finished at its yard on Hayling Island.