NEWS — Back in black

NEWS - Back in black

Remember the silver-hulled kiwi boat Earthrace

that sped around the globe last year on biodiesel? Well, she’s back, in black, and ready for her new role as a direct-action anti-Japanese-whaling vessel.

Said to be daubed in radar-absorbing paint, the boat was acquired by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS) and renamed the Ady Gil in honour of the conservation group’s benefactor who helped acquire the vessel.

Unveiled at a SSCS fundraising event in Los Angeles on October 17, the Ady Gil will join the Society’s flagship, Steve Irwin, in a forthcoming campaign to intervene in illegal Japanese whaling in Antarctica.

Due to its speed capabilities, up to 50kts, SSCS said Captain Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd president and founder) intends to use the Ady Gil to intercept and physically block the harpoons from ships illegally slaughtering whales.

As Earthrace, Ady Gil set the record as the fastest powerboat to circumnavigate the globe, completing the successful attempt in June last year in 50 days 23 hours and 49 minutes. The 24m (74ft) wave-piercing trimaran, powered by a 1080hp Cummins MerCruiser diesel engine, is claimed to achieve 13,000nm at 6kts on one tank of fuel, while at 25kts this plummets to 2000nm.

Sea Shepherd said on its website (, that it is currently preparing for its 6th Whale Defense Campaign this Southern Hemisphere summer, titled Operation Waltzing Matilda.

The campaign launches from Australia in early December with the Steve Irwin accompanied to the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary by the Ady Gil.

Says Captain Watson, “We’re very excited that the Ady Gil will be joining the Steve Irwin in Antarctica this campaign. With these two ships, we will mount the most ambitious and aggressive effort to date to obstruct the slaughter of the whales in the Southern Ocean.”

Chuck Swift, deputy CEO in charge of ship’s operations said: “The Ady Gil gives us the speed necessary to catch and stay with the Japanese whaling fleet. We are very optimistic that with these two ships, and some other surprises, we will shutdown whaling in the Antarctic Whale Sanctuary.”

Photos: Formerly known as Earthrace, the Ady Gil is the latest boat in Sea Shepherd’s anti-whaling fleet. (Courtesy of Sea Shepherd).