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Friday, September 5, 2008

$1.5 Milliion: The Price for Being Green?

Auckland, New Zealand--Pete Bethune has offered his biofuel-powered round-the-world record-holding Earthrace for sale for $1.5 million

New Zealand round-the-world record-holder Pete Bethune is advertising his futuristic trimaran Earthrace for sale.
"Would you like to own the coolest boat in the world? For $1.5 million, she's yours!" he said today on the boat's website. Bethune's carbon-fibre eco-boat smashed the round-the-world speed mark on June 27 at its second attempt. The first, last year, failed.

This time it made a 24,000 nautical miles circumnavigation in just 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes, two weeks faster than the 10 year-old record. The 24m wave-piercing tri-hull vessel was run on biodiesel to demonstrate and draw global attention to the potential for alternative fuel sources. The round-the-world trip started in Sagunto, Spain on April 27, and ended there.

The Bethune family mortgaged their house three times to pay for the boat. Now Bethune, who formerly worked in the oil industry, plans to find a job allowing him to stay at home and spend time with his family. He is full of praise for his wife, Sharyn, who not only was stuck at home in Auckland, but working to support both the family and the two record bids: "I don't know anyone else who would have tolerated what she has.

Bethune has been continuing his mission of promoting awareness of the environment and the sustainable use of resources, with a promotional tour visiting Europe, the UK, Caribbean and Australia, before returning to New Zealand. But he is also seeking "blue water" qualified captain to skipper the boat from the UK, departing in the middle of this month, across the Atlantic, Caribbean and Pacific to Australia.

Earthrace was built with non-toxic paint, hemp composite in the flooring, biodegradable lubricants and hydraulic fluid, and pumps out bilge water through a special filter to prevent any fuel waste going into the sea. Its two 540 horsepower engines have a cruising speed of 40 knots but many legs of the record bids averaged slower than 22 knots to conserve fuel.

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