VIDEO: Earthrace Boat Destroyed By Sea Shepherds

Earthrace Boat, image from

Earthrace Boat, image from

Earthrace was an engineering feat.  The 78ft boat, which displaced 13 tons, set the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powered vessel.  The boat did the trip in 60 days, 23 hours, and 49 minutes, beating the previous record by over 13 days.  The vessel had a 3,000 nautical mile range, and traveled at speeds up to 45kts.  Amazingly, it accomplished this running completely on an animal fat and vegetable oil bio-diesel fuel.  The key to the boat’s speed was its design.  The trimaran hull reduced drag and allows for faster speeds, while the three hulls themselves were designed to slice through waves rather than roll over them, greatly increasing efficiency.

In June 2009, it was announced that Earthrace would join the Sea Shepherds fleet.  The Sea Shepherds are a group of radical conservationists dedicated to interrupting the legal hunting of whales by Japanese research organizations.  They are (inappropriately, in my opinion) featured in the Animal Planet show ‘Whale Wars’.  In the past, the Sea Shepherds have attempted to interrupt the historic Canadian seal hunt, but were arrested and had their vessel seized after ramming a Canadian Coast Guard ship.  The Sea Shepherds, founded by a man who was kicked out of Greenpeace for being too radical, have always sought crew members based on their radical beliefs and zealous support of Sea Shepherds ideals over their actual nautical skills.

Despite the initial statement that Earthrace would be used in a passive role, on January 6th, 2010 Earthrace, re-named Ady Gil sank from a collision with the 172-ft Japanese research vessel Shonan Maru 2.  At the time, the Shonan Maru 2 was providing security to the Japanese whaling fleet.  Ady Gil had been attacking it and other whaling vessels using a projectile launcher, high-powered handheld lasers intended to blind watch-standers and equipment,  and by towing a line and crossing the whaling vessels’ bows at close range in an attempt to entangle their propellers or and rudders.

Vessel Ady Gil Attacks Japanese Whaling Ships with (from left to right) A Projectile Launcher, A Laser, and an Entangling Line, photos from

Vessel Ady Gil Attacks Japanese Whaling Ships with (from left to right) A Projectile Launcher, A Laser, and an Entangling Line; photos from

The below video shows the collision between Ady Gil and Shonan Maru 2, as witnessed from the deck of Shonan Maru 2.  When watching the video, pay close attention to the stern of Ady Gil.  Initially it appears that the vessels will pass close aboard, but will not collide.  However, at the last minute, Ady Gil accelerates in front of the whaler, where it is hit.  The acceleration is evident in the building wake behind Ady Gil as it draws nearer to Shonan Maru 2, and the acceleration does not stop until AFTER the collision.   This video is evidence refuting the Sea Shepherds’ claim that Shonan Maru 2 rammed Ady Gil.  Interestingly, this video has not been shown by any of the main media outlets.  Instead, they have repeatedly aired video taken from another Sea Shepherds vessel, whose perspective makes the fault much more ambiguous in the collision.

For more images and videos of Sea Shepherds’ reckless activities from the perspective of the victims, go here:


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