Earthrace, the world's fastest eco-boat, will thunder into Port Suez, Egypt on Monday 23 June at 8am local time for the final port stop of its world record attempt.
Old and new in Oman as Earthrace is fuelled
Earthrace is a 24m New Zeland built tri-hull wavepiercer that runs on biofuel and is on day 57 of its attempt to break the world record for a powerboat to circumnavigate the globe.
The boat is currently more than 3,000 miles ahead of the world record pace set by the British Cable & Wireless team in 1998. The crew will set off on the final leg of their journey after a quick refuelling in Port Suez, using the 100% Biodiesel shipped from Portugal, prior to transiting the Suez Canal.
Earthrace left Salalah Port, Oman at 13.45 GST on Thursday, and has been powering through the Red Sea at an average speed of 20 knots, while the ground crew have been based at the Stella di Mare Resort at Ain Soukhna preparing for the boat's arrival in Port Suez.
Adrian Erangey Earthrace operations Manager from Ireland has said 'Mr Nagib Latif and the staff of Felix Maritime Agency have worked all week for us and pulled another miracle by ensuring our fuel is through Egyptian customs on time and at the dock for us.'
The crew has been battling against monsoon conditions and large waves for much of the past few legs but conditions are set to calm as they cross the Mediterranean. This will allow for a rapid journey back to Sagunto, Spain, where the race began almost two months ago.
Skipper Pete Bethune hopes that breaking the record using a boat powered by biofuel will demonstrate to the world the potential for alternative fuel sources.
Earthrace has overcome many obstacles during its journey, the most challenging of which being the replacement of the boat's driveshaft and propeller after hitting sea debris in Palau, and bypassing a massive backlog of ships waiting to transit the Panama Canal.
The crew are extremely grateful to Admiral Ahmed Fadel, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority, for granting special dispensation for Earthrace to speed through the Suez Canal to Port Said before tackling the Mediterranean.
Earthrace is the only vessel in the world that has been given a special pass to speed through the Suez Canal at full speed.
'We're into the home stretch now,' said Bethune. 'If everything goes in our favour we'll be back in Sagunto in five days time, smashing the world record by almost two weeks, thanks to the Suez Canal Authority's support of our project.'