Back in 2007 I was lucky enough to capture some pictures of the Earthrace trimaran in Leith Docks , Edinburgh . This trimaran raced around the world in 65 days , powered by bio-diesel . It has a submarine design which allows it to cut through waves rather than over them. Earthrace has been criss-crossing the globe on the lookout for illegal fishing and hunting operations since 2006. The original boat was launched in 2006, and set a world record for round the world powerboat travel before it was destroyed in a collision with a Japanese whaling ship in 2010.
Now the development of Earthrace 2 has been announced . The team will attempt to create a new trimaran capable of assisting law enforcement on long-range, open-water missions.
Earthrace 2 is based on the original Earthrace and, like its predecessor, will run on renewable fuel but sport a Skysail Kite System for auxiliary power. When (or if) it sees the light of day, the new boat will serve as an operations base for the team’s missions battling wildlife crime around the world. Loaded up with a crew of 26, the larger vessel would support 28 day missions with a cruising range of 10,000 nautical miles (11,508 mi/18,520 km) at 12 knots (14 mph/22 km/h).
If it comes time to get into hot-pursuit mode, the 195-ft (60-m) boat could be pushed up to around 25 knots (29 mph/46 km/h). Alternatively, a 29-ft (9-m) Sealegs Amphibious Vessel and a Zodiac Dinghy would be hidden away within the hull, ready to be deployed if the team needs to board other boats on a mission.
Plans to rename Leith Docks as Edinburgh Harbour have caused outrage among local residents. A 4000 signature petition was produced at record speed and now the plans to have been dropped .Locals believed the move would remove Leith’s historic character.
The docks are at the centre of a multi-billion pound redevelopment of the area which will take between 25 and 30 years, and has been underway for a decade.
Residents had said that if the name change was pushed through, they would campaign to have Edinburgh Castle renamed as Leith Castle.
Forth Port, the group behind the regeneration plans, have claimed that the proposed change was misunderstood. A spokesman told The Journal: “The master plan was submitted to Edinburgh council under the name of Edinburgh Harbour. There were obvious reasons for this. It will be a new international cruise harbour and it needs international recognition.
“Leith is moving away from it being a working port, to a new community: there is new housing, businesses, places to shop, to really utilise the waterfront in Edinburgh.”
He continued: “It was submitted as Edinburgh Harbour as part of the redevelopment project. People were misinformed – we are clearly not dropping the name of Leith Docks. It will all fall under the banner of Leith Docks, and it’s a misrepresentation of our position.”
“We accept there is a high degree of public complaint over the issue. Although this is built on misinformation, we felt it was important to show people we are part of the community and prepared to work with them.”