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EDITIONS
Saturday, 22 June, 2002, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Spirit boat record aim sinks
Spirit of Cardiff
Spirit's crew was not able to beat the world record
Three men bidding to beat the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a boat have failed in their ambitious attempt.

The Spirit of Cardiff crew needed to moor on Gibraltar to beat the current record 74 days, 20 hours and 58 minutes.

But, after a series of ups and downs on the high seas, the crew's target passed by while they were still on water.

Crewman Clive Tully's latest weblog entry documents the tiny 2m boat's arrival in Guatemala on Thursday, with the entire Atlantic left to cross and hopes of smashing the sailing record fading fast.

Alan Priddy, team leader
Alan Priddy's team documented its fortunes online
That record remains held by the Cable & Wireless Adventurer and was set in 1998.

Originally a four-man team, they left from the Welsh capital on 31 March before the record attempt began in earnest at Gibraltar on 7 April, having set a 50-day target for the epic 25,000-mile journey.

High seas

Hit by troubles including a week of terrible whether off the coast of Japan, that aim eventually fell by the wayside. They also endured 60ft waves and 40-knot winds.

The crew also had to repair the hull twice, after damage was caused by an uncharted fish farm near Malta and from debris floating in the water near Singapore.

From the very early days, he didn't accept my role as decision maker and team leader

Alan Priddy on Alan Carter's departure
Engineer Alan Priddy, a veteran sailing expedition adventurer and Spirit of Cardiff's designer, led first mate Steve Lloyd, cameraman Alan Carter and reporter Tully on the global trip.

Uniquely connecting with friends and fans on dry land, Tully e-mailed his thoughts back home using an Iridium satellite phone.

Auxiliary members added the project's progress into a weblog, or online journal.

It formed a special and fascinating travelog for the former travel writer.

Just six hours into the trip, he wrote of his nervousness, down to six knots in the face of high winds and bathfuls of spray in the Bristol Channel.

Over 13,257 nautical miles later, on 31 May, he sent news of the onset of depression biting the crew as they arrived at barren Adak, Alaska, desperately over-budget.

Trouble at sea

But Spirit was dented earlier, in Singapore, when Carter, 48, from Penarth, left the expedition.

"From the very early days of the expedition it was apparent that he didn't accept my role as decision maker and team leader," captain Priddy told the website.

"Upon our arrival in Mangalore, India, it came as a major shock to discover from our hosts that the Indian immigration authorities had told them one of the Spirit of Cardiff's crew members was looking for an exit visa."

Remaining crew members were left resentful and without several parts of their boat broken on the way; but answering a flood of e-mails from concerned enthusiasts in the UK.

They hoped to make the Spirit the fastest, smallest boat ever to circumnavigate the world.

The crew had previously set records sailing around the British Isles, from Gibraltar to Monaco and across the North Atlantic.

By Saturday, it became apparent the dream of a fourth, biggest prize was finally over.

See also:

20 May 01 | Wales
17 Oct 00 | Wales
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