Solent challengers Team Britannia link up with HMS Diamond to showcase Navy's might
THE might of the Royal Navy will be shown across the globe by Team Britannia on its round-the-world record challenge.
The Solent crew hoping to race around the globe in the fastest time will take a plaque featuring HMS Diamond’s badge on their epic journey.
The partnership with Diamond – which arrived back in Portsmouth on Friday after two months at sea – was struck up after both parties met at a naval charity fundraiser.
And the Team Britannia team – captained by Portsmouth ocean racing legend Alan Priddy – are to follow Diamond’s duties and promote its work.
Mr Priddy said: ‘We met Diamond’s crew following their epic charity fundraiser, leapfrogging miles from the docks to the top of the Rock in Gibraltar – an impressive feat that raised over £3,000 for good causes.
‘Following this chance encounter, we were honoured to tour this mighty Type 45 destroyer, meet the Commanding Officer and enjoy some traditional naval hospitality.
‘We returned the hospitality at our charity event 24 hours later, where Commander Marcus Hember presented HMS Diamond’s badge, which we will display on board our vessel during our 23,000-mile round-the-world record attempt.
‘This gesture of friendship led to the announcement that we had adopted the Pompey-based warship.
‘What this means in practice is that we will follow their progress, support them at events when in port and hope to engage them in all our activities, from our education programme to the starting ceremony on March 12. We know they will do likewise.’
Team Britannia was due to embark on its voyage last month from Gibraltar, but there were delays in the construction process.
The plan now is to set off on Sunday, March 12.
Mr Priddy added: ‘We’re delighted by this new association.
‘The Royal Navy with its proud history is rightly regarded as the best navy in the world.
‘Team Britannia is striving to be the same, to be the best as we take on one of sport’s toughest challenges.’
The team hope to bring millions to the Solent economy by building replicas of its boat should it clinch the record, currently held by New Zealander Pete Bethune.