Harry’s Round Britain eRIB Challenge comes to Falmouth Harbour

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General News

July 9th


18-year-old Harry Besley will be skippering the eRIB Electra around the coast of Britain to showcase the cleaner, greener future of electric boating. Photo – Jaqui Besley

Falmouth Harbour is getting e-prepared to welcome the young skipper of an electric RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) as he drives around the coast of Britain to highlight a greener future with the marine industry’s transition to electric propulsion.

The not-for-profit Round Britain eRIB challenge, sponsored by GILL, will follow 18-year-old Harry Besley’s odyssey with his support team from Lyme Regis in Dorset travelling right around the British coastline, stopping for electric charging at more than 40 locations on his way, including Falmouth on July 15.

Harry, from Taunton in Somerset, is looking forward to talking to well-wishers and interested parties in his host ports, as a significant part of the Round Britain eRIB project is to build an understanding for everyone regarding the need to replace fossil fuels with zero emissions propulsion.

Harry, a keen sailor and watersports’ enthusiast, has just finished his A-Levels at Wellington School in Somerset and has been planning this Challenge because, as he puts it, “I was fed up with going out in boats and knowing that we are causing harm to the environment.

“I did some research and found that there were electric engines and I didn’t know why people weren’t using them instead of petrol engines. It’s not just burning fossil fuels which is causing harm with the chemicals produced contributing to the greenhouse effect and global warming: petrol engines also harm water quality and cause noise pollution.”

On his journey Harry and his team will be showcasing the opportunities for the use of electric propulsion systems in UK Coastal waters. As well as support from 44 ports around the British coast he is backed by several key industry bodies including the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Marine, British Ports Association, The Yacht Harbour Association, UK Harbour Masters Association and The Green Blue.

Falmouth Harbour’s Environment Manager Vicki Spooner says, “We are thrilled to be one of the charging points along Harry’s route and we look forward to making him welcome on his incredible challenge.

“Falmouth Harbour are keen to support and understand more about electric propulsion, so this challenge is of particular interest as we try to find effective decarbonisation strategies for our own vessels and those of users of the harbour.

“For Harry’s arrival we have adapted one of our Haven marina charging pillars to enable him to charge overnight in Falmouth before setting off the next morning. By this autumn we will have installed a rapid charger onto the marina, ahead of welcoming our own Falmouth Harbour eRib as part of the Innovate UK-funded ZENOW project.”

Round Britain eRIB have collaborated with Jordan Wiley MBE, Founder of EXPEDITION STEM which is creating free Key Stage 2 Educational Materials for use in schools that can be found at http://roundbritain-erib.org/resources.

“The EXPEDITION STEM Round Britain eRIB resource is designed to inspire KS2 children through the spirit of adventure,” says Jordan Wiley. “It has followed Harry as he prepares for his challenge and provides differentiated, curriculum-linked STEM activities for each stage of his journey.”

Other sponsors include Harris Maxus who have provided a 100% electric pickup truck as a ground support vehicle, the OCEAN FAMILY FOUNDATION with a cash donation towards the public engagement campaign and Kempower who are providing two moveable chargers to support ‘fast’ charging at 44 locations around Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

For more information, including updated timings for Harry’s Round Britain eRIB project or to make a donation towards the not-for-profit challenge visit www.roundbritain-erib.org or follow @roundbritain-eRIB.

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