This is Earthrace, the boat that once travelled about 15km powered by biofuel made from 10 litres of human fat.
You’ll be able to see the boat, which holds the record for circling the globe and is for sale for $US1.5 million, when she docks in Ballina on December 30 and 31.
Earthrace is billed as the fastest and greenest powerboat in the world, and will arrive in Ballina as part of a worldwide tour to communicate the importance of biofuels in the fight against global warming.
In June this year, Earthrace set a world record for a powerboat to circle the globe – smashing the old record by more than two weeks.
The 24,000 nautical mile journey, which took 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes, was completed on 100% renewable biodiesel fuel with a net zero carbon footprint. The biofuel was made from coconut husks.
For Earthrace’s very first time on the water, skipper Pete Bethune (pictured) underwent liposuction and donated enough to produce 100ml (he’s very thin), but two other volunteers also had the procedure, making a total (with Pete’s 100ml) of 10 litres of human fat.
This in turn produced seven litres of biofuel – with the boat running slowly, that’s enough to get her about 15km.
When she docks in Ballina people will have the chance to tour the carbon-fibre vessel for the cost of a small donation.
Earthrace is designed with ‘submarine’ qualities — rather than tackling big waves head-on, she can dive 7m under the surface.
Earthrace skipper Pete Bethune, says the boat is entirely devoted to educating people worldwide about biofuels and carbon footprints.
“The public open days are a crucial way for us to connect with people and encourage discussion, debate and understanding about biofuels, carbon footprints, and the many other aspects that affect our environmental footprint,” he said.
“They are also a chance for people to check out the coolest boat in the world, and to chat with us about our adventures, some of them amazing, and some absolutely terrifying.”
Earthrace will be powered by 100 per cent biodiesel from Queensland-company Neumann Petroleum.
Biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester-based oxygenated fuels made from vegetable oils or animal fats, most commonly derived from tallow, canola, cotton seed and soy.
“It is the only alternative fuel that can be used directly in any existing, unmodified diesel engine and offers numerous benefits including 80 per cent lower carbon dioxide emissions; almost 100 per cent lower sulphur dioxide; safer handling, transportation and storage; and new markets and opportunities for Australia’s agricultural industry,” Mr Bethune said.
“While 100 per cent biodiesel is not commercially available to motorists in Australia, Neumann Petroleum offers a 20 per cent blend through selected Matilda service stations in Queensland.”
New Zealand-based Earthrace will spend six weeks in Australia, taking in more than 20 locations from 1770 in cCentral Queensland to Melbourne in Victoria.
As well as hosting over 150,000 people, Earthrace has been through over a dozen storms, has bullet holes from Columbians, scars from logs off Borneo, and her crew were detained under armed guard in Guatemala.
Its Australian tour is sponsored by JB Global.
Visit the Earthrace website for more information.