Team Britannia gets Â£1m funding boost to finish 80ft powerboat for world record attempt
AN ocean adventurer is hopeful he can set off on his round-the-world record attempt this year, thanks to a funding boost of Â£1m for the completion of his powerboat.
Alan Priddy, skipper of Team Britannia, has received almost £1m from peer-to-peer lending platform FundingSecure.
The money will see an 80ft powerboat out on the water in October.
Team Britannia is building the ‘fastest and most fuel-efficient semi-wave slicing powerboat’ to circumnavigate the globe for a coveted world record, held at 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes.
Alan was joined by FundingSecure founder Richard Luxmore to celebrate the partnership, at the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company on Hayling Island, where the rib is being built.
Alan, 64, said: ‘We’ve had a stay of execution on the build for several reasons, but we’re now finishing the boat, so we’ve got some pretty heavy engineering to do now.
‘We’re very proud of the work that’s gone on and we’ve got 2,500 hours left on the job – that’s about 12 weeks.
‘We only have two weather windows a year to start the world record attempt which is late October and early March, so we’re hopeful for October.
‘I’m just immensely pleased FundingSecure have faith in us and saw our passion for British industry and design.’
The World Record Authorities (UIM) dictate that for a recognised circumnavigation the craft has to pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator and start and finish the journey in the same place.
Alan added: ‘What we’re going to be doing is incredibly tough and if I’ve got a guilt it’s making light of it.
‘I tried the challenge in 2002 and didn’t get the overall record so it’s something that’s been burning within me.’
The team started building the boat in April 2015. They will launch their 23,000-mile world record attempt from Europa Point in Gibraltar.
FundingSecure founder, Richard Luxmore, said: ‘About 1,500 of our investors have lent just under £1m of their money towards this project.
‘Some have put in £25, some have put in £25,000, and they will earn interest on that.
‘We got involved because there was an emotional appeal – the Britishness of the whole thing, the fact the boat is being made in Britain, there’s not much manufacturing happening in this country and it’s an opportunity to bring some back.
‘It’s an inspiring adventure.’