Alan Priddy's global powerboat record bid is delayed for the fourth year in a row

HOPES of bringing a round-the-globe powerboat racing record to Portsmouth have been delayed – for the fourth year in a row.

Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 7:00 am
Team Britannia’s round the world superboat Excalibur has hit the water for the first time at a boatyard at Hayling Island. Pictured is Alan Priddy on the boat. Picture: Team Britannia

Ocean racing legend Alan Priddy had set his sights on taking on the ambitious 23,000-mile voyage in 2016.

But the project has been marred by technical gremlins, cash shortages – and now the coronavirus pandemic’s fallout.

The hi-tech superboat, named Excalibur, has been stranded at Hayling Island since the pandemic hit the globe at the start of 2020.

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Team Britannia’s round the world superboat Excalibur has hit the water for the first time at a boatyard at Hayling Island. Pictured is Alan Priddy on the boat. Picture: Team Britannia

But now organisers from Team Britannia, the team behind the record attempt, have admitted that even if the UK managed to beat the outbreak and fully reopen next year, the epic voyage won’t take place until at least 2022.

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Spokesman Alistair Thompson said: ‘It’s been delayed but the boat is ready, apart from some work on the interior, it’s built and the engines are all in… but we can’t do it next year.

‘Although the UK might be out of lockdown, the advice we’re getting is that some of the ports we’re going into won’t be out of lockdown.

Team Britannia’s round the world superboat Excalibur has hit the water for the first time at a boatyard at Hayling Island. Picture: Team Britannia

‘So we’re now looking at 2022 for the world-record attempt, which is a long way away.’

Mr Priddy has previously said the record bid would bring a boom to Portsmouth, pumping in millions into the city’s famous maritime industry.

The sleek boat has been designed to slice through the waves rather than riding on top of them.

Inside, it is equipped with the latest, state-of-the-art engines, radar, safety and communication equipment.

It also uses environmentally-friendly emulsified diesel fuel to help reduce pollution from harmful emissions.

Speaking to The News previously about the project, Mr Priddy said: ‘We always knew that there was always the possibility of a delay – after all we are building a boat that will have to stand up to the toughest imaginable conditions, so it is vital to get the boat 100 per cent right before we set off.’

To complete the record attempt, the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canals, cross the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, as well as starting and finishing in the same place.

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