A trio of appointments has been made by Team Britannia to its round the world record attempt crew. The three, Andy Haffenden, Renee Shuyan Lu and Christopher Piearcey will work with the project’s partners in North America, China and central and southern Europe to maximize sponsorship and media opportunities.
The appointment of the three members of the land team marks the start of final preparations that will see the innovative 80ft superboat Excalibur launched and sea trialed ahead of the record attempt.
Ocean racing legend and team principle Alan Priddy, welcomed the appointment, commenting: “I know all three of these people and their many personal and business qualities that they will bring to our exciting and ambitious project.
“To date we have been largely focused on the onboard crew, with the exception of our partnership with the leading global shipping and logistics company GAC, but as our Land Director Alan Goodwin, who part of the 1997 record breaking tea, says, this attempt can be won and lost on the land.”
Andy Haffenden, who is based in Florida and is a keen sailor, has considerable powerboat experience and runs a highly successful global luxury yacht and concierge business, Aquazeal Charter, will become the North American Director. He brings a wealth of experience to the project, having worked in marine sector for several decades and has a honors degree in Maritime Management.
Miss Lu, who is based in Fareham is a Director of the Amber Rose Consultancy, an expert in Anglo-Chinese relations and is the Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the UK Portsmouth Chinese Association and HeNan Association, will become the Director of Chinese Operations.
While Mr Piearcey, a former information technology industry specialist will become the Director of Central and Southern Europe. Originally from Yorkshire, he now lives in Italy where he has built an impressive list of contacts through his role at the Club del Gommone di Milano the oldest and largest RIB club in Italy.
Dr Priddy continued: “It has been a long and drawn out process to get here with some unfortunate delays, which were beyond our control, but our superboat is nearing completion. All of the fabrication has been finished, fitting out has started and just a small amount of welding remains in the wheelhouse. So this seemed like the ideal time to turbo charge our growing team with a trio of key appointments.
“They will act as the main contact point with our growing network of partners and supporters in, North America, China and central and southern Europe.”
In September the 20 tonne superboat was lifted and turned 180 degrees to allow the flybridge to be added and work on the vessel’s distinctive wheelhouse to be completed. This has been done, while the chief engineer Steve Mason has continued fitting out the vessel.
Mr Haffenden commented: “This is an incredible opportunity to be part of a unique endeavor, which mixes work with injured and wounded service personnel, an ambitious environmental programme and a host of world records. It really is an awesome project and I look forward to working with Alan and the team to deliver it.”
Dr Priddy concluded: “The fitting out is underway, while a small a small amount of welding to the cabin remains outstanding. Once this is complete and the miles of cabling has been installed the next big milestone will be commissioning of the superboat’s two FPT engines and jets that will power it on the 42,000-kilometer record attempt. So we are getting close to announcing when the boat will hit the water and a timetable for the round the world record attempt, which could see us setting nearly two dozen records.”