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Could Biodiesel-Powered Earthrace Join Sea Shepherd's Anti-Whaling Fleet?

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When you think of Sea Shepherd’s vessels, the classic “giant” variety comes to mind — something Captain Paul Watson has bemoaned limits their efforts to quickly intercept whaling vessels. Now imagine a sleek, biodiesel-fueled powerboat sporting the Sea Shepherd black and slicing through the water at over 40 knots. Such is the vision owner/skipper Pete Bethune has for his Earthrace 78 foot trimaran. After completing a round-the-world journey with a volunteer crew in 2008 in 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes (slashing the previous record for a powerboat by two weeks!) he’s now putting the boat up for sale — but would love to see it in the hands of the Sea Shepherd defending whales around Antarctica. From the article,

Earthrace could have a new future as a secret strike weapon against Japanese whalers in the Southern Oceans if the Kiwi skipper has his way. Bethune says he is negotiating with anti-whaling campaigner Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to use Earthrace as a ‘strike vessel’ based around its sturdy but slow ship Steve Irwin. ‘The Steve Irwin can only do 16 knots [30kmh], so they can hassle the whalers for a while, and then they move on. If you had Earthrace, you could hassle them all the time.’

Bethune has listed the Earthrace for $1.5 million — but we imagine there might be some wiggle room for a group like Sea Shepherd. Either way, you’ve got to imagine the Japanese are less than thrilled. You can check out more on the sleek boat here.

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