Team Britannia’s round the world record bid has been delayed due to a technical problem with its two stern hull plates.


The problem only discovered late on Monday night, means that Alan Priddy and his team will not be able to set sail on 23rd October because the plates will have to be recut.


Mr Priddy commented: “This is a hard day for the project and everyone involved with it - more than 100 men and women. I have been living and breathing this project for five years and we were flying. The boat was taking shape and everything was on track for the start later this month.


“All the kit and equipment we needed is on site waiting to be installed, including the engines, Castoldi jets and high tech communications and navigation equipment from industry leaders Raymarine.


“Having been advised that it could take several weeks before the new plates arrive, while other works has had to stop, so I have reluctantly taken the decision to delay the record bid until early next year.”


The boat is now expected to be launched in November, which means it will miss the all important weather window, as it has to complete an essential programme of sea trials, to ensure it exceeds all safety requirements before setting off on the 23,000 mile voyage.


While no firm date has been set, Mr Priddy and his team are talking to Gibraltar based Meteorologist Steph Ball, who advises the project on all weather related matter. A preliminary analysis of the weather data indicates that the next window for the record attempt will be early next year.


“I can not underscore just how good Aalco and the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company have been in driving this project forward. Their efforts have been considerable and their reputations for being the best is well deserved. It would be completely unfair for any blame associated with this delay to be attached to either.”


Mr Priddy, also confirmed that his priorities would be to press on with completing the boat.

“This delay will allow us to undertake an extended programme of sea trials that will include breaking the unsupported round Britain record and revisiting the scope of work with our amazing wounded and injured veterans. It might be possible to increase their role as we move forward.


“We will also be able to fly the flag in more places, visiting the London Boat Show and other major industry events around Europe.”


The boat was designed by Professor Bob Cripps, former Technical Director of VT Halmatic. It has been designed to slice the waves, rather than surfing them, with its super-efficient design, a variant of the “fast displacement hull”. This will reduces fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and should make the 23,000 mile trip smoother.


In addition to the fuel efficient design the vessel will be powered by a revolutionary fuel emulsion developed by Clean Fuel Ltd, a mixture of diesel, water and emulsifier, that when burnt reduces harmful emissions such as particulate matter and NOx.

Inside the boat will be the latest radar, safety and communications equipment from Raymarine and Iridium Communications.


Mr Priddy concluded: “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 and start and finish in the same place. The world record authorities, UIM (Union Internationale Motonautique) have approved Team Britannia’s proposed route, which will start in Gibraltar and call at Puerto Rico, Manzanillo, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.