Toshiba (Australia) Pty Ltd has thrown it support behind the Earthrace project with the provision of some sophisticated mobile computing technology.
Earthrace is a New Zealand conceived bid to break the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powerboat using only renewable fuels. The initiative includes an 18-month tour calling at 60 of the world’s great cities, promoting fuels like biodiesel, and raising awareness of sustainable use of resources.
The brainchild of Pete Bethune, a former oil exploration engineer who worked in the Middle East and the North Sea, the Earthrace boat is a 10 ton, 24 metre tri-hull wavepiercer design by leading New Zealand naval architect, Craig Loomes.
It will represent leading edge technology in all facets including engines, composites, hull design and motors as it seeks to carve 10 days off the 75 day world record set in 1998 by a British powered craft using fossil fuels (diesel).
The boat currently nearing completion will be launched in Auckland in November 2005 and undergo a series of water based trials before doing a port tour around New Zealand and then heading to the West Coast of the United States.
When the boat gets under way, the Toshiba Qosmio G20 (an AV-Notebook) will play a key role in communicating with the world. The notebook will transmit data every minute providing a visual dashboard of key boat statistics such as GPS, boat speed, engine parameters and wind speed.
Additionally it will be used to do video editing and transmit a two to three minute broadcast quality clip of daily highlights.
“The Qosmio has already proven itself to be a real asset to this project,” said Pete. “It currently has all of our boat plans, budgets, accounts, contacts, all of our sponsorship proposals and most of our multimedia files on it. Plus it syncs with my Toshiba e830 Pocket PC to manage all my contacts and appointments.
New Zealand Country Manager for Toshiba ISD, Callum Eade, said Toshiba was proud to be supporting Earthrace in its quest. “At Toshiba we take environmental responsibility seriously. We are committed to contributing to the sustainable development of the earth through our business processes and products. We applaud this initiative and hope their quest is a success on multiple levels.”
Following the completion of the race, Earthrace will continue its promotion tour for renewable fuels, sailing up the east coast of America, across to Europe, down through Asia in the first quarter of 2007, arriving in Sydney around the middle of 2007 before returning home finally to New Zealand.