The 78-ft. biofuel powered trimaran which recently launched a world record attempt to circumnavigate the globe in less than 74 days has run into an ugly mess. Captain Bethune, speaking from the Earthrace cabin said: "Our weather forecaster had warned us about this area of the Pacific. It's a giant rubbish dump of plastic and polystyrene the size of Texas, and we're currently on the southern tip of it."
Our course on this leg has been more like a drunken student weaving his way home after a bender, rather than a race boat in a straight line - it seems every hundred metres or so there's another load of rubbish in the water that we need to skirt around.
TreeHugger readers know the horrific pacific garbage patch well. Summer Rayne Oakes has shared her personal experience of the gyre. Media attention to the plastic soup in the Pacific is growing, exemplified in coverage by VBS.tv and The Independent.
Fortunately, the Earthrace has been running ahead of record pace. Picking their way through the Pacific Gyre garbage patch is not expected to threaten the team's chances at the record. Perhaps soon a world record can be established soon for "most garbage trawled out of an ocean" or "most boats simutaneously cleaning up the ocean."