Kent’s Andy Reid (47) is returning to the oceans by joining the crew of Team Britannia, a new round-the-world record attempt.
The self-confessed adrenaline junkie will join the round-the-world powerboat, which hopes to slash up to seven days off the current record of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes, held by New Zealander Pete Bethune.
Team Britannia, led by British ocean racing legend Alan Priddy, will use a revolutionary semi-wave slicing boat that will plane through the waves, rather than surfing them. The super-efficient design, the work of top designer Professor Bob Cripps has been designed to be both light and incredibly strong. A variant of the “fast displacement hull” Bob and his designed team believe that the revolutionary shape of the hull will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and make the 23,000 nautical mile trip smoother and faster.
The boat will be crewed by a team of 12, including up to five wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (WIS) on each of the seven legs of the voyage who are being supported by the limbless veterans’ charity Blesma.
Mr Priddy commented: “I am delighted to be reunited with Andy Reid on the Team Britannia project. He was a crucial member of the team during 2002’s ‘Spirit of Cardiff’ record attempt. Andy has proven skills and brings a huge amount to this already excellent team.”
Andy added: “I am really excited to be returning to the ocean to finish the job we started in 2002. I feel really optimistic about this amazing challenge and I already love working with Team Britannia’s dynamic and enthusiastic team. I am looking forward to bringing this prestigious record back to Great Britain.”
Andy, who comes from Sevenoaks in Kent, will join Team Britannia as a Bosun. A keen supporter of Alan Priddy’s round-the-world expedition in the ‘Spirit of Cardiff’, Andy co-skippered a number of legs (including the Panama and Suez canals) in the Raymarine Lively Lady Project.
A self-employed IT contractor currently working for a global pharmaceutical company, Andy is also a RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Coastal Skipper as well as a Senior Dinghy and Powerboat Instructor.
Andy’s relationship with the water doesn’t stop there, he is also involved with both local and County Scouts running water activity events.
In addition to fuel-efficient design, the boat will use a pollution cutting Water-in-Diesel (WiDE) fuel emulsion power the two race-tuned Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinder engines. The boat is being built by the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company who are based near Portsmouth and will be fitting the latest navigation and communications equipment from the British marine industry.
The boat will be launched this summer and will then commence a programme of sea trials. Then in October, the record attempt will get underway using the iconic Europa Point in British Gibraltar as its timing mark for the start and finish.
To complete the record attempt the boat must pass through the Suez and Panama Canal and start and finish in the same place. The world record authorities, UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) have approved Team Britannia’s proposed route, which after leaving Gibraltar will call at Puerto Rico, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel, before returning to Gibraltar. Although the boat is allowed to stop for fuel and stores the clock keeps running so the project is working to minimize the time they are in port.
Mr Priddy concluded: “It is fantastic to be reunited with Andy on this round the world record attempt. He is an amazing guy – calm and reliable- so when we encounter problems and we will, I know that I have someone who will not panic but just get on with solving it.”