Posts Tagged ‘Circumnavigation Record’

Trending theme

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Over the last few months, Team Britannia has been putting out press releases every so often for individual members of the crew, targeting them at publications in their own locality, as well as in Portsmouth, the home of the project. It’s a great way of keeping the publicity ticking over, even when there isn’t much else to report.

The middle of May finally saw my turn. and it’s been interesting following it up to see who decided to run with the story. Not surprisingly, my local newspapers the Eastern Daily Press and Eastern Evening News ran it, along with Teamlocals and The News in Portsmouth.

It also featured in the marine press, including All About Shipping, and sporting publication The Sport Feed. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of it all was to find that the phrase “Clive’s skills and experience” had popped up as a trending theme on Team Britannia’s word cloud, which highlights the most often used words or phrases in our current media coverage.

Weather or not

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Having told people for most of this year that Team Britannia was intending to set off from Gibraltar on the attempt to break Earthrace’s 2008 61-day round the world powerboat record on November 1st, it was something of a wrench to see that date come and go, and still no boat. Bearing in mind the project has been gestating since early 2009, I guess you can at least say we have staying power! The reason we didn’t have a boat in the water by November 1st came down to sponsorship problems which we encountered earlier in the year, problems which have now been resolved by making Team Britannia self-supporting through Clean Fuel Ltd.

But even had we had a boat afloat by then, we still wouldn’t have set off, and that’s down to the weather. This year has been an El Niño year, and with record numbers of cyclones not just in the Pacific but worldwide, and extreme weather events intensifying as we head towards winter, we simply wouldn’t have contemplated it. Which means that for our purposes, spring 2016 becomes the next window offering the best chance of reasonable weather for an attempt. Not that you’re ever likely to get perfect conditions all the way along a 24,000 mile route, but spring and autumn offer the best chances.

And if you want all that in glorious Technicolor, this is me offering pretty much the same explanation.

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Clive Vlogger

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

Funnily enough, my middle name begins with “V”, but Vlogger isn’t it! As part of keeping Team Britannia’s new website constantly moving, I’m endeavouring to update it with words, images and video. Apart from the TV documentary about Spirit of Cardiff’s epic voyage around the world in 2002, that includes a couple of vlogs from me, which Team Britannia skipper Alan Priddy wants to see become more of a regular thing.

I was told many years ago by a TV producer that he thought I had a “great face for radio”, words which at the time stung somewhat as they fell upon my ears. As it happened, I was already doing a lot of radio, and I’d hoped to make a break into telly. And while part of me grudgingly agreed with him, I nevertheless proved him wrong by appearing in a string of TV travel, outdoors and leisure programmes, including a BBC travel show called “The Great Escape” hosted by Nick Knowles!

Even so, I guess I’ve felt somewhat more comfortable behind a camera rather than in front, but in the interests of promoting Team Britannia, my reservations have to take a back seat – not least because I know that once we get our boat in the water and take it around the world, I’m going to be appearing in front of TV cameras a lot!

So, as rough and ready as they are, the vlogs will probably be a good way of easing me back into limelight mode. This latest one from last month was shot in my office, and features Team Britannia’s eco-fuel partner Clean Fuel Ltd.

Team Britannia – powered by SulNOx eco fuels

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

October 1st dawned rather grey and damp in London, and for some of us, it required an extra early start – for travelling, and to get Team Britannia crew member Paul Sleightholm’s Scorpion RIB out of the Thames and onto a trailer. Parked in front of the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre within spitting distance of the Houses of Parliament, it would provide a dramatic demonstration of the benefits of SulNOx, the incredible pollution-busting fuel emulsion produced by Team Britannia’s new partner.

SulNOx were participating in the Fathom Ship Efficiency event at the conference centre, so we were going to be doing it in front of precisely the right kind of audience. There were moments of humour, too – crew members eschewing the privacy of the Men’s Room to strip off tops and change into Team Britannia / SulNOx shirts in the wide open space of the conference centre lobby, and someone (no names, no pack drill) causing one of the lifts to behave somewhat erratically. We even discovered that there is such a thing as a free lunch after all, when we tucked into a very tasty buffet provided for the conference delegates.

There were two demonstrations of SulNOx. With two fuel vessels rigged up, the RIB engine was started up on standard red diesel, belching the usual black smoke and horrible smell. And as SulNOx director Stephen Bamford pointed out, it was also belching out odourless but poisonous Nitrous Oxides. Within a minute or so of switching the feed over to SulNOx fuel, the black smoke and odour disappeared, and the engine was running smoother. And while there are lots of results of scientific tests to back up the impressive claims for performance, there’s no doubting that a simple and very visual demonstration such as this can convince most people. In a world becoming increasingly conscious of the pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, SulNOx is without doubt a game-changer, and Team Britannia certainly looks forward to highlighting that fact next year in the ultimate boating challenge.

Still reeling slightly from the monumental worldwide media coverage we gained over the weekend, we were nevertheless looking to exploit further opportunities. As Team Britannia project leader Alan Priddy was being wheeled over to the Westminster broadcast studios in Millbank to do an interview for the BBC, we got word that London Mayor Boris Johnson might possibly be visiting the QE2 centre on an unrelated matter, so we decided it would be a good ploy to try and ambush him with a SulNOx brochure, and I would capture the moment on camera. Sadly our long wait outside proved fruitless, and so I missed Alan’s speech to the conference inside, which others described as inspiring, or the moment he signed the contract with SulNOx to cement our relationship.

For most of us in the team, the day was also an opportunity to meet for the first time the people behind SulNOx, and to appreciate the passion they have for a product which could quite literally change the world. I know my brother, who visited the Isle of Mann TT races during the 60s and 70s, would be envious to think that I’d met world champion and six-times TT-winning motorcycle racer James Redman MBE.

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Letter from Number 10

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

I haven’t posted any round the world boat updates for some time, because frankly there hasn’t been much to say. The project has had something of a bumpy ride this year in terms of sponsorship, and while this has inevitably introduced delay into our planned timeline, we will have some positive news to announce soon.

In the meantime, we received rather a nice letter which gave us all a warm rosy glow – me in particular, as the one who penned the original letter which elicited this response.

It’s from Prime Minister David Cameron, writing to express his admiration for our endeavour, and looking forward to following our progress. Click on the letter to read the larger version on our Team Britannia Facebook page.

The unsuspecting blogger

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

When I went around the world on Spirit of Cardiff in 2002 with Alan Priddy and Steve Lloyd, I used a tiny Psion Series 5mx palmtop computer linked to an Iridium satphone handset to transmit daily updates about our progress. What I didn’t realise at the time was that I was probably one of the first adventure travel bloggers!

Now I’ve released on Amazon Kindle the full collection of web updates (or blogs) covering the entire voyage. Unlike my subsequent book “Confronting Poseidon”, there’s an immediacy in the writing – this is adventure as it was happening, and of course, no benefit of hindsight!

And while some parts of the web updates did find their way into “Confronting Poseidon”, a testament to the quality of the writing, there’s a lot which didn’t. It comes with an introduction from me explaining the challenges of producing daily journals while bouncing around in angry seas, and a foreword from ocean adventurer and Spirit of Cardiff skipper Alan Priddy.

Back in 2002, both “Confronting Poseidon” and the web updates were hailed by leading boating magazines as an important contribution to marine journalism. Now at last both are available in the easily accessible Kindle format.



Confronting Poseidon – Around the world against the odds

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

It’s taken a while to get round to it, but Confronting Poseidon has finally been released on Amazon Kindle, and for less than the price of a pint! The original print book was published at the end of 2002, the same year as the extraordinary journey I took around the world on the Rigid Inflatable Boat Spirit of Cardiff.

This is a “lite” version – all the text, but no photographs apart from the cover. If you read it and fancy a hardback copy for your bookshelf or coffee table, there are details on how you can purchase at the end of the Kindle book. Click here to download your copy.

The Gibraltar Cup – it’s official!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Gibraltar officially declares its support for the British entry for the Around the World powerboat race between UK and USA later this year, and will award the winner with a perpetual trophy entitled the Gibraltar Cup. The ceremony was held at the Parliamentary offices of Gibraltar, and attended by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“The signing of the Race document now makes it all very official and real,” commented Team UK captain Alan Priddy, “and I am extremely pleased that the team of Accomplish More has a fixed home in which to challenge for the trophy, and prevent the American team from stopping us saying that Britannia rules the waves. Up until the signing of this document, Gibraltar has just been accepted as a place to start a voyage or stop for fuel. Now it has become the ancestral home for all global powerboat attempts.”

The design of the Gibraltar Cup will be set as a competition for the schoolchildren of Gibraltar, with the brief of “Gibraltar the World”. Once all the entries have been received by organisers the Rotary Club of Gibraltar, they will be put on display, with a public vote to decide which design wins.

From my point of view, it’s rather nice inasmuch as the official document announcing the race uses my words. It’s the first time anything I’ve written has been endorsed by a Prime Minister!



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London Boat Show

Monday, January 14th, 2013

This year’s London Boat Show saw Global Challenge project leader Alan Priddy once more making appearances in the Knowledge Box celebrity lecture area. The first day of the show saw him make two presentations to capacity audiences (people were spilling out into the surrounding aisles!) explaining how the round the world powerboat challenge turned into a race against the Americans, along with some interesting historical background. Alan will be back again next weekend, while crew member Shelley Jory-Leigh will be filling in for him during the week.

The show this year is noticeably smaller – just one large hall at ExCel instead of two, with quite a few “fringe” exhibitors you wouldn’t normally expect to see. But hopefully it will still be around next year, with Accomplish More freshly returned from a record circumnavigation of the world as the star exhibit!

Mum’s the word!

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

The next two or three months may see me relatively tight-lipped about Accomplish More as the Mk2 version begins construction. While every stage of the Mk1 boat (which has now been cut up for scrap) was photographed and ended up on Facebook and on the project website, that’s not going to be the case with Mk2. Rather like a Formula 1 race car in development, the actual building process won’t be publicised as it progresses, although obviously we will still document it all for posterity. So the first people will see of her will be when she’s finished.

And while Mk1 never even made it to the water, we’ve learned enough from her to incorporate some intriguing modifications into the new boat. In the meantime, one interesting snippet from project boss and Accomplish More skipper Alan Priddy: between now and the point when we arrive back in Gibraltar in December (after beating the American team and smashing the circumnavigation record, of course), the project cost in pounds runs well into four figures – every day!