Solent Team Britannia enterprise hit back at New Zealander Pete Bethune over '˜scam challenge' claims

THE Solent powerboat team hoping to secure a new round-the-world record has hit back at criticism that its challenge is '˜nothing short of a scam'.

Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 6:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 2:01 pm
Alan Priddy with boatbuilder Paul Johnson
Alan Priddy with boatbuilder Paul Johnson

New Zealander Pete Bethune, who holds the record for sailing around the world in a powerboat in the fastest time, is concerned Alan Priddy and his crew’s plan amounts to an ‘environmental nightmare’.

The claims come despite Team Britannia boasting its boat is being built based on a ‘super-efficient design’ that reduces fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and should make the 23,000-mile trip smoother.

In an open letter to ocean adventurer Mr Priddy, who has called off his global voyage until the new year due to delays in the construction of his boat, Mr Bethune said: ‘When UK sailor Alan Priddy recently announced his plans to try and take this record, I sat on the sidelines biting my tongue, not wanting to criticise another man’s dream.

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‘His dream however has morphed into an environmental nightmare for the planet, and yet he has the audacity to claim it’s an environmental challenge. This is nothing short of a scam.’

He added: ‘Based on data from the challenge website, the proposed vessel will guzzle 168,000 litres of diesel fuel in setting the record.

‘To put that in perspective – it takes your average person nearly 2,500 years to consume such a vast amount of fossil fuel.

‘Further to this, the challenge will add 450 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere from diesel alone, at a time when many countries are desperately trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

‘All this to get your name in a record book is madness.’

But Team Britannia say the calculations are based on ‘straight diesel’ and not the emulsified fuel it will use with sea water.

A Team Britannia spokesman said: ‘We are striving to make our boat environmentally friendly and significantly cut fuel consumption.

‘We are doing this by utilising the latest innovation in hull design and emulsified fuel technology, which will bring huge benefits to the entire marine sector.

‘Surely everyone should be supportive of this?’