Portsmouth Team Britannia skipper insists '˜revolutionary boat' will make it to Gibraltar despite setback
A SOLENT powerboat team has suffered a setback in its attempts to secure the round-the-world powerboat record.
Team Britannia, led by Portsmouth ocean racing legend Alan Priddy, had hoped to launch the boat it is taking on the global voyage at the Southampton Boat Show.
But problems during construction have meant the boat has yet to be completed, and a planned UK tour on the water has been postponed.
But Mr Priddy insists the boat – yet to undergo sea trials ahead of the beginning of the record attempt from Gibraltar on Sunday, October 23 – will still be finished on time and everyone remains fired up for the challenge.
Mr Priddy said: ‘The boat continues to progress, although we are behind schedule.
‘We had hoped to launch at the Southampton Boat Show with a celebrity, but problems in the construction process has meant our timetable has slipped and eaten up all of the contingency and more.
‘We always knew this was possible, after all we are building a revolutionary boat, the first in its class.
‘We’re still confident that we will be setting off in Gibraltar at the end of October, but the whistle-stop tour of UK ports has had to be postponed until after we return from the record attempt.
‘Our boatbuilders, the aptly named Aluminium Boatbuilding Company, based on Hayling Island, have been amazing throughout the whole process.
‘Even during the considerable periods when work on the hull of boat has had to stop, they have worked on other elements, doing a herculean job in keeping the project on track.
‘Had Paul Johnson and his team not been so committed to the boat, I believe that we would now be looking at the March weather window.
‘We now have all the correct metal, engines, jets, satellite and navigation equipment on site, while GAC our logistics partners have been busy making sure the land side is ready to go.’
Team Britannia’s final crew, which includes a number of wounded veterans, has now been picked following a RYA Powerboat Level 2 training exercise.