Epic Atlantic crossing for Swedish climate activist
At 15:00 (local time) on August 14, 2019, racing sailboat Malizia II set sail from Plymouth in the south of England, skippered by Pierre Casiraghi and Boris Herrmann, with precious cargo Greta Thunberg on board, for the young Swedish climate activist first epic Atlantic crossing.
Greta is accompanied by her father Svante Thunberg and filmmaker Nathan Grossman, heading to New York to take part in the United Nations Climate Action Summit on September 23, 2019. Depending on weather conditions, the non-stop crossing should take two weeks.
“I am full of admiration for Greta’s courage; she will never forget this adventure. And what could be more beautiful and important for her than to opt for this crossing and to discover the dimension of the Atlantic Ocean that plays such a key role in our environment? It will be a historic crossing, a long one and definitely difficult at times. The hardest part is leaving the family at home, but we are ready and so is the boat!” said Pierre Casiraghi, Vice-President of the Yacht Club of Monaco, who offered to make the IMOCA 60 available for the 3,000 nautical miles crossing to enable Greta to take her message across the Atlantic. Greta and her team are fully aware of the precarious living conditions they face on board, even when they are offered minimal comfort. The interior of Malizia is very bare and totally optimized for high-speed offshore racing. “We have made no major alterations for the crossing, except for fitting curtains in front of the bunk and adding comfortable mattresses for better sleeping. Note that there is no toilet, no fixed shower, no cooking facilities or proper beds,” commented Boris Herrmann.
Greta and her team will be offered a choice of freeze-dried vacuum-packed vegan meals, which can be prepared in all weather conditions with minimum effort and little use of energy.
Under the sign of sustainability
The entire transatlantic crossing will be under sail, the engine not being used at all, in line with Greta’s as well as the Malizia Team’s message of sustainability and environmental protection.
“At the start and finish, we will have Torqeedo RIBs powered by electric engines to assist us during docking maneuvers as well as to tow Malizia out of and back into port. As for the engine on Malizia II that will be officially sealed before we set off. Although the engine will stay turned off, it will be ready to use at any moment in the event of an emergency, in compliance with the IMOCA Class Rule. Safety of crew and boat is always a priority for us,” explains Boris Herrmann.
Malizia is equipped with a state-of-the-art solar system of 1.3kW and two hydro-generators installed on the stern of the boat and were specifically designed for IMOCA 60 racing yachts.
“With these two independent systems working, we generate more electricity than we actually need. The two energy sources allow us to run all the systems and electronics onboard continuously – navigation instruments, autopilots, water-makers, as well as our SubCtech Ocean laboratory. So we will be able to complete the transatlantic trip fully emission-free.” (Photo:: Malizia Aerial @Andreas Lindlahr)
It is an initiative to help protect the marine environment and fits into the Malizia Ocean Challenge comprising three main pillars: sailing, science, and education. “During all our sailing trips and races, we try to actively contribute to ocean research, particularly the impact of climate change on marine environments, by measuring CO2 and other sea surface data with our onboard laboratory. We publish the data collected and their results which are made available to the public and scientists.” Throughout the crossing, Greta has the opportunity to participate in this data collection.
To follow their progress live: https://team-malizia.com/
“Until you start focusing on what needs to be done rather than what is politically possible, there is no hope. We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, and we need to focus on equity. And if solutions within the system are so impossible to find, maybe we should change the system itself.” Greta Thunberg