July 7, 2005
Scottie, I Need More Power!
Bladerunner 51 – Bradstone Challenger
Forget the Starship Enterprise: if it’s warp-factor 10 you’re after, look no further than this racing version of the new Bladerunner 51.
Built to break the record for circumnavigating Britain, the Bradstone Challenger can sustain speeds of up to 70 knots (80 mph) for more than 24 hours at a time.
After failing to find a suitable weather window at the end of last season, its crew of Neil McGrigor, Tony Jenvey and Jeremy Watts are once again on standby for a record attempt. When their forecasters give them the green light, they will head out from Lymington to the start line off the Squadron Yacht Club in Cowes for a 0930 gun. They hope to be back in time for lunch the following.
The current record was set in 2001 by an 80ft Fabio Buzzi-designed boat running four 1,500 hp engines. It completed the course in 30hr 51min at an average speed of 47 knots.
The Bladerunner 51 is smaller and lighter, and powered by two 1,000hp Caterpillar engines. A leisure version of the boat is planned for 2006. Go to www.roundbritainrecord.com for further information about the challenge.
Writer: Hugh Andeae