A Vendee Globe sailor, Olympic Champion, engineer and student are taking on the challenge

Olympic Champion Amy Williams and Vendee Globe sailor Steve White will form part of a crew aiming to be the first Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) to circumnavigate the globe.

The ‘Global Rib Challenge’ aims to break the record and to be the fastest motorized vessel to do so, during its 24,000 nautical mile trip around the world.

Powered by biofuel to promote sustainability, the boat will set off in April 2015 from Southampton and take in eight refuelling locations around the world including India, Singapore, Hawaii and Mexico, before finishing in Gibraltar in what is hoped will be a record breaking time under 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes.

Joining the renowned around-the-world solo sailor Steve and former Olympic Skeleton athlete Amy, will be the challenge founder and team leader, 20-year-old George Hunt, plus team engineer Phil Martin.

The crew will be supported by a team of young people who have set up and will run the challenge themselves and hope to inspire others who wish to pursue and lead similar adventures.

The crew will be raising sponsorship and building their craft throughout 2013 and 2014 before their challenge begins in April 2015.

Amy, who won the women’s skeleton gold medal at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games and retired from the sport at
the end of the 2011/12 season, said: ‘I jumped at the chance of being in the Challenge Crew as it is so far away from my comfort zone.

‘The appeal of putting myself in such a mentally and physically demanding situation, on the ocean at the mercy to the environment, leaves me excited and scared in equal measure.’

Dorset’s Vendée Globe sailor Steve White, who completed the gruelling yacht race in 2008/09 and finished eighth, said: ‘The Global Rib Challenge will be a demanding journey, there’s no doubt about it.

‘It will test us individually and we will have to come together as a team in some challenging waters. The fact that our mission has a wider sustainability purpose is rewarding too and I have every faith in ourselves and our back-up team that we will succeed.’

The Global Rib Challenge aims to be the first RIB to circumnavigate the globe under the rules of the international governing body, the Union Internationale Motonautique (UIM). It also aims to set the Guinness World Record for the first RIB to circumnavigate the globe.

In addition it will attempt to break the current record for the fastest circumnavigation by a motorized vessel, set by earthrace in 2008 – of 60 days, 23 hours and 49 minutes.

George Hunt, from Cheltenham, is a qualified powerboat instructor and is currently undertaking a Business Studies degree at Plymouth University.

He said: ‘Sailing and Powerboating have always been my passion and the ultimate goal has been to circumnavigate the world, to do it with such an amazing bunch of people is a dream come true.

‘I want to prove that if you have the determination and passion you can achieve your goals, however far reached they might seem when you set out.’

For more information please visit: www.globalribchallenge.com and follow the crew on Twitter @RIBchallenge and Facebook: www.facebook.com/GlobalRibChallenge


First pic shows the crew (left to right) – Phil Martin, George Hunt, Amy Williams, Steve White.

Second pic: (left to right) – George Hunt, Steve White, Phil Martin, Amy Williams.