Pembrokeshire powerboat ace, Daisy Coleman (29) is set to join the crew of Team Britannia, a new round the world record attempt.
The self-confessed adrenaline junkie will join the round the world powerboat, which hopes to cut up to seven days off the current record of 60 days 23 hours 49 minutes, held by New Zealander Pete Bethune.
Team Britannia, lead by British ocean racing legend Alan Priddy, will use a revolutionary semi-wave slicing boat that will carve through the waves, rather than surfing them. The super-efficient design, a variant of the “fast displacement hull” will reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent and make the 24,000 mile trip smoother and faster.
The boat will be crewed by a team of 12, including up to five wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (WIS) on each of the seven legs of the voyage who are being supported by the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund.
Mr Priddy commented: “We are delighted Daisy is going to join the crew for the whole voyage and help us break the world record. She brings to the team a huge amount of experience and expertise from her career racing P1 powerboats – but more than that she brings her amazing can do attitude and sense of humour.”
Daisy added: “I am so pleased to be given this once in a lifetime opportunity, to attempt the very pinnacle of my sport. Since this record was first set in 1998, there has only been one successful challenge. This is because of the physical and mental demands of racing a floating gas can for 60 days are huge.”
Daisy, who comes from Saundersfoot, will join Team Britannia as one of the Bosuns. A former soldier in the Royal Artillery for nine years, Daisy will work closely with Captain Stuart Croxford, helping with the selection and training of the wounded and injured crew who will take part in the voyage.
A keen horsewoman, she came late to powerboating. After being medically discharged from the army in 2013 having completed tours in both Afghanistan and Iraq, she was keen to try out sailing, but stumbled across powerboating at an event to help veterans through sport and in her own words was “completely hooked”.
In her debut offshore race, the 35nm challenge, Daisy stunned more experienced racers with a podium finish. After that there was no holding her back. “It was obvious to everyone there I didn’t know a lot about boats. I didn’t know port from starboard, or how to tie knots yet did pretty well considering my non-boating background” she said.
“At the end of 2012 sadly the class I was racing for with Mission Motorsport folded and the charity were unable to support us in the bigger class. Then I received a phone call from ex-champion John Wilson and was asked if I would step it to navigate for him in the bigger 250 class. I stepped up to the challenge and since then haven’t looked back. We’ve secured multiple podium finishes; finishing 3rd overall 2013 and 2014 and last year 2nd. John has retired now so this year I’ll be racing alongside my brother and we’re going for the top spot! I’m delighted to be joining Alan and Team Britannia on board this revolutionary round the world powerboat trip and won’t settle for anything less than smashing the current 60 day record.”
In addition to fuel-efficient design, the boat will use a pollution cutting Water-in-Diesel (WiDE) fuel emulsion power the two race-tuned Fiat Power Train C13 500, 6 cylinder engines. The boat is being built by the Aluminium Boatbuilding Company who are based near Portsmouth and will be fitting the latest navigation and communications equipment from the British marine industry.
It will be launched in September and will then commence two weeks of sea trials.
The record attempt will start on 23rd October 2016 using the iconic Europa Point in Gibraltar as its timing mark.
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, Acapulco, Honolulu, Guam, Singapore, Oman and Malta to take on fuel.
Mr Priddy concluded: “We are at a crucial and exciting point in the project. The boat is being built and we are putting together our team, both shore based and those who will take part in this epic challenge. Getting this selection right is crucial if we are to smash the current record. From the first time I met Daisy to discussing with other crew members we just knew we had a perfect fit.”
The formal announcement of Daisy’s involvement will be made later today during a reception at the House of Commons. She is available for interview.