The future of boating is coming to Ballina
BALLINA will play host to one of the world's most innovative power yachts: The 26-metre wave-piercing Earthrace.
Built by Kiwi entrepreneur Peter Bethune, the yacht is on its way back to the Land of the Long White Cloud after breaking the record for circumnavigating the globe by sea.
The futuristic vessel managed to do the job in just under 61 days, smashing UK boat Cable & Wireless Adventurer's record by two weeks.
Mr Bethune's first cousin, Murray Ings, now resides in Georgica, near Lismore, and has arranged for Earthrace to visit Ballina on New Year's Eve.
Even if the Ballina bar is awash with a three-metre easterly swell or a howling southerly is lashing our coast, it won't bother the advanced composite yacht.
Already on its adventures Earthrace has plunged to five metres under the surface, faced 12-metre waves and 80-knot winds.
The narrow-hulled trimaran runs on bio- diesel, which means that at an average speed of six knots it can travel 24,000km on one tank of fuel.
At 25 knots of boatspeed Earthrace has a range of 3700km.
According to the boat's website, Earthrace will be touring Australia throughout January with the aim of encouraging debate and understanding about biofuels, carbon footprints, and the many other factors affecting our environmental footprint.
The tour will also give boat lovers the chance to check out the vessel and chat with the crew about their 'amazing and terrifying' adventures.
Earthrace is even looking for volunteer crew to join the boat for its Australian promotional tour.
Mr Inge said his cousin had been a tinkerer since he was a boy.
He said although there were always plenty of nay sayers, Mr Bethune had pursued the Earthrace boat project with a vengeance.
“I'm extremely proud of him,” Mr Inge said.
On December 31 Earth- race will tie up at the Fawcett Street wharf in Ballina. If a southerly is blowing strongly it will tie up in the protected fisherman's boat harbour.
For more information on the boat visit http://www.earthrace.net/