After Bermuda, Race for Water continues
its scientific Odyssey in the Caribbean
After a first stopover in Bermuda that was full of rewarding meetings and knowledge-sharing, Race for Water has headed back out to sea towards Cuba and the Caribbean to continue its Odyssey. The first phase of this five-year expedition around the world in aid of ocean conservation, scientific research and energy transition, will be divided into three major stages: Cuba (from July 21 to August 8), the Dominican Republic (From August 20 to September 10), then Guadeloupe (from September 18 to January 15). During these stopovers, the emphasis will be on oceanographic research, which will be conducted by researchers from the European JPI Oceans program, when they arrive on board.
The organization of stopovers in areas that are both important for scientific research and also able to reach a wide audience makes it easier to promote real solutions for creating value in the collection of plastic waste and thus fighting against the pollution of the oceans – Race for Water’s mission. The hybrid catamaran, Race for Water, which is at the forefront of energy transition with its mixed-energy propulsion (solar, hydrogen and high-altitude kite), left its home port of Lorient on April 9. It has now set off from the archipelago of Bermuda, where the international focus on the 35th America’s Cup, among other things, helped spread its message and highlight its excellence as a platform. As a unique vessel, which makes no impact on the environment, it is serving as a science education base, travelling laboratory and floating proof for the promotion of clean energies. The stopover in Bermuda was informative, positive and high-profile, it brought together many government officials, including Mr Michael Dunkley, Prime Minister of Bermuda, Mr Sylvan Richards, Minister of the Environment, and Waste Management, and everyone from significant figures in the energy world to local NGOs, but it was only the beginning of a long voyage that has now continued on to the Caribbean. There are three important stages in this part of the Race for Water Odyssey program: Cuba, from July 21 to August 8, the Dominican Republic, from August 20 to September 10, then Guadeloupe, from September 18 to January 15, 2018.
Taking positive action, raising awareness and promoting new solutions
There will be four highlights at each of these stopovers. Firstly, there will be a press conference to announce the detailed program of each stopover and to introduce the fascinating vessel to the widest possible audience through the media. Secondly, there will also be “Waste to Energy” and “Science” workshops. The main objective of these meetings is to bring together key economic players and scientists around a table to learn from each other’s experiences, and share the actions and efforts they have made for conserving the oceans, then find the best way to tackle the problem of plastic pollution around the world. At the same time, there will be visits to Race for Water by schoolchildren with the goal of raising awareness among younger generations about the importance of conserving our water and encouraging them make a difference. Lastly, private tours will also be possible. Everything will be conducted around the exhibition on board of the Race for Water Foundation’s mission, the partnerships with the scientific world, the ways plastic pollution is being combated, a solution to create value by turning this waste into energy, as well as, naturally, a demonstration of how the boat works. The challenges? Raising global awareness, among the public and its institutions, about the need and ways to conserve our water. Taking action and promoting new solutions to combat the plastic pollution of the oceans.
In the service of science
The vessel, Race for Water, will host researchers and scientists from the European JPI Oceans program, as a deep understanding of the way the oceans function is one of the indispensable conditions for their protection. Two consortia of scientists – EPHEMARE and WEATHER-MIC are taking advantage of this exceptional platform and its itinerary in Caribbean waters, to conduct research on the ecological impact of microplastics on the marine environment and will take turns on board to carry out tests in areas of interest. In support of their studies, the Race for Water Odyssey is also an ideal opportunity for communication with the general public and policy makers to explain their research through the various workshops being organized. The entire crew of Race for Water is delighted to welcome them and to be using their maritime skills in the best interests of science. Together, no problem is too large!