Round Britain eRIB challenge gathers sponsors, has a boat and is ready to go

boy sits on boat that he's using to circumnavigate UK and Northern Ireland in eRIB challenge

The Round Britain eRIB challenge, postponed from 2023, is looking like it will be setting off this summer. Billed as showcasing ‘the capabilities of electric propulsion in UK coastal waters’, it’ll also be providing a jolly exciting adventure for its 18-year-old skipper.

Setting off from Lyme Regis in Dorset, the team will be using a variety of shoreside charging solutions.

Harry Besley, the skipper, was pleading for sponsorship last March, saying: “We now have the plans and logistics in place, all we need is funding. These projects are unfortunately not cheap and vital items need to be purchased or sadly the challenge cannot continue.”

Now his sponsor’s include Kempower. That’s a DC ultra-rapid charging manufacture which says it’s reshaping the car, truck, marine and port industries. It’s providing two moveable chargers to support the project, ‘fast’ charging at 44 locations around Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Round Britain eRIB challenge to showcase the future of electric boating,” says Erik Kanerva, sales director for North Europe. “The Kempower movable charger is designed to meet charging needs in remote locations or at events where charging is needed temporarily. Together with eRIB we can show that sustainable and zero-emission boating is not just a possibility, but an achievable reality.”

The Ocean Family Foundation (OFF) is giving Besley a cash grant to ‘support the public engagement campaign for greener propulsion’. “We are thrilled Harry approached us to support his Round Britain eRIB Challenge,” says OFF. “Harry is shining a light on zero-emission technologies and possibilities; he stands to be a great role model, with his courage and life choices, to all designers and ocean advocates in the marine industry.”

Then there’s Harris Maxus, which is providing a 100 per cent electric T90EV pickup truck as a ground support vehicle.

“The eRIB challenge embodies the spirit of innovation and environmental stewardship which aligns so closely with our brand,” says Mark Barrett, MD of group franchise at Harris Group, distributor of MAXUS. “As part of our support, we are . . . allowing the team to stay emission free at every mile as they follow Harry on his trip around Britain. This partnership is more than just a sponsorship; it’s a shared journey towards a greener future. People like Harry are an inspiration, prompting others to take action and chart a course towards a brighter, cleaner tomorrow and we are delighted to play our small part in this mission.”

Last July Besley cancelled the challenge, following delays in the vessel’s production schedule. For the next year, the team said it would support the partner boat builder — which was not revealed at the time — through sea trials for the challenge vessel and gather performance data to integrate into the planning for the actual challenge.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.

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