Thunder boat: Irish-built boat breaks record in Arctic Circle maritime challenge


A boat designed and built in Ireland set a new world record for a formidable challenge in the Arctic Circle.

Thunder Child II established a record for a 1,500 km circuit from Killybegs in Donegal to Reykjavik in Iceland.

Built by Safehaven Marine in east Cork, the ship and her five crew left Donegal at 3 a.m. on July 8.

Incredibly, they completed the 1,500 km trip in just under 32 hours – a new world record.

Thunder Child II covered the 1,500 km – or just over 866 nautical miles – at an average speed of just over 30 knots.

Such was the attention their achievement drew, they were honored with a special overview of the Icelandic Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter as they approached Reykjavik.

After breaking the record, the team posed for photos in Vestmannaeyjar and later in Isafjorour on a mini-tour around the Icelandic coast.

After a small celebration to mark the establishment of a new world record, the crew then refueled the machine and headed for Blossiville in Greenland.

The boat is an asymmetric catamaran design.

It has a deep V hull that allows it to travel at high speed in open water.

Safehaven described the design as giving Thunder Child II “a wave-piercing shell shape.”

The record was broken despite difficult sea conditions which, as they approached Iceland, included a heavy swell.

Measuring 23 meters in length, Thunder Child II features a special hydrofoil system between what are actually two catamaran hulls.

The same boat has set new records in recent years for the circuits around Rockall and Fastnet Rock.

Safehaven designs and manufactures special high performance boats for pilot boats and patrol boats.

Its clients include port authorities and shipping agencies across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

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