On the morning of Sunday 10 June, the Race for Water vessel tied up alongside in the military port of Valparaiso, thus bringing to a close the seventh oceanic leg of her circumnavigation of the globe at the service of the oceans. Using the wind, the sun and the ocean, the 100-tonne catamaran powered solely by renewable energies took some 21 days to make the journey from Peru to Chile. Gathered together around Marco Simeoni, President of the Race for Water Foundation, the whole team, with the support of the Chilean Navy, Agunsa and the Swiss Embassy, partners of the stopover, have begun a packed week, coloured by a series of encounters and highlights.
Navigation and energy management
Jean-Marc Normant, Technical Director and captain of the Race for Water catamaran gives us the low-down on the sailing conditions during the passage from Lima in Peru to Valparaiso in Chile, a delivery trip that was a little longer than planned and required some special attention regarding the energy management.
JM Normant: “Conditions were favourable at the start with a little sunshine, which enabled us to make headway at a reasonable speed. Following that though, a thick wad of cloud coloured play and we were punching into both the tide and the wind. We gradually had to reduce the boat’s speed to manage our energy as best we could since the solar panels were only charging a very small amount. On the last two days the wind shifted round until it was pushing us along at 6 knots! That was an incredible sensation for us after making headway at just two knots for the previous 18 days. It’s also important to note that there was one considerable asset: hydrogen! Thanks to the electricity it provided us with, we were able to get through a barrier of cloud without too much of an issue. In terms of the kite, we went about the exercise of setting it up in some boisterous conditions bordering on 30 knots without actually launching it. Indeed, unfamiliar with how the system handles with a lower voltage than usual we didn’t take the risk. Ultimately, we’re not too surprised by these conditions or our slight delay as we’re here in the midst of winter in the southern hemisphere”.
LEARN – SHARE – ACT
Now that the boat is alongside, the crew is getting down to work on its missions to represent and raise awareness about the preservation of the Oceans alongside the ACT and logistics teams.
During the press conference, which took place today aboard the boat, our stopover partners took the floor:
Edgar RÖDIG, Ambassador of Switzerland to Chile: “The Oceans cover 71% of the surface of our planet and their pollution is a problem, which affects the whole world. Switzerland, despite being a State without any direct access to the sea, is committed to preserving the Oceans and working on solutions to prevent plastics ending up in the ocean. For all these reasons, the Swiss Embassy is proud to support the Race for Water Odyssey, a highly important, innovative and sustainable project.”
Representant of Chilean Navy : “The Race for Water Odyssey’s arrival in Chile is very important to us in terms of both its environmental and technological aspects. It is contributing a great deal to raising awareness about plastic pollution among citizens, opinion leaders and young generations.
In this regard, the Chilean Navy, recognising that the sea is a key factor in the development of the country, has been working for over 10 years to promote environmental awareness through activities such as educational exhibitions in schools and colleges and an international day to clean up the beaches across the country, which is something that thousands of volunteers actively participate in throughout the various regions that make up the country.
Within the context of future challenges, the Chilean Navy’s Maritime Authority plans to obtain an inventory via the development of a data collection monitoring programme, which will enable them to gauge the scale of the problem and have a standardised methodology. At the same time and over the course of this coming year, it has planned to launch a marine waste management plan hinged around two areas: environmental education and the sampling of marine waste and microplastics.”
The low-down on the week’s programme:
Monday 11 June:
11:00 hrs: Press conference
15:00 to 17:00 hrs: Visits from secondary school students
16:00 to 17:00 hrs: Conference at the Santa Maria University with Marco Simeoni andCamille Rollin
Tuesday 12 June
10:00 to 13:00 hrs: “Plastic Waste to Energy” workshop
15:00 to 17:00 hrs: Visit from the public authorities and International Institutions
Wednesday 13 June
09:00 to 11:00 hrs: Visits from schoolchildren
11:00 to 12:00 hrs: Valpo Surf Project (ONG)
14:00 to 17:00 hrs: Visit from the public authorities and International Institutions
Thursday 14 June
11:00 hrs: SuizAgua conference in the presence of Camille Rollin
Late afternoon on Saturday 16 June or the morning of Sunday 17 June (according to the weather)
Race for Water’s departure for Concepcion
Technical pit-stop in Concepcion from 22 June to 30 July
Stopover in the Juan Fernandez Islands from 3 to 8 August
Stopover on Easter Island from 31 August to 9 September