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BBC Wales's Owen Jenkins reports
"On Easter Sunday, 2002, Cardiff will witness an epic record attempt"
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Saturday, 10 June, 2000, 22:50 GMT 23:50 UK
Spirit of Cardiff breaks UK record
Spirit fo Cardiff
The 2m Spirit of Cardiff project has records in sight
Three sailors have set a new record for sailing around the coast of Britain in a power boat.

The team left Cardiff five days ago in the Spirit of Cardiff vessel and arrived back on Saturday having circumnavigated the British Isles in five days, six hours and five minutes.

During the trip, each member of the team averaged four hours sleep a day, and they only stopped twice to refuel.

They achieved the feat after two previous attempts were aborted.

Our project is hi-tech and Cardiff is hi-tech

Alan Priddy, Spirit of Cardiff
The team, led by Alan Priddy, carried out the trip in preparation for an attempt to set a new record for circumnavigating the world in 2002, starting from Cardiff harbour.

Mr Priddy said the Spirit of Cardiff performed very well in extremely rough seas.

He said he was confident they would be able to break the 50-day record for sailing around the world in two years time.

Alan Priddy, Spirit of Cardiff
Hi-tech: Project member Alan Priddy
Spirit of Cardiff team members helped set a new transatlantic record two years ago in a smaller boat.

The epic 24,500-mile journey - costing 2m - in 2002 will begin in Cardiff Bay on Easter Sunday, with the team making 28 one-hour stopovers on their record attempt.

Travelling at an average speed of 21 knots, they will be supported by an 80-strong road crew.

Originally called the Spirit of Portsmouth, the project decided to switch locations to find a base that suited its hi-tech image.

After a Europe-wide search, the team settled on the burgeoning Cardiff Bay, where it will have its round-the-world trip control headquarters.

"Our project is hi-tech and Cardiff is hi-tech and the companies that operate here are the ones that we need to work with to ensure that the boat succeeds in doing what it is scheduled to," said team member Alan Priddy.

Transatlantic boat record
Transatlantic: The team is used to setting records

The rigid build boat is powered by a single Yamaha turbo-diesel engine, which produces 240 horse power and a top speed of over 30 knots and range of 3,600 miles.

The route for the round-the-world trip begins with the official starting point at Gibraltar and continues to Malta, Suez, Jeddah, Aden and Bombay, India.

The journey takes them on to Singapore, Brunei, Manila, Yokohama, Honolulu, Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and Jamaica.

The "home leg" across the North Atlantic takes in the Azores and finally, Gibraltar, before returning to Cardiff.

The journey is expected to set the record for the fastest Cardiff-Cardiff round-the-world trip as well.

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