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Race for Water Odyssey – R4WO: KICKING OFF !

Kicking off the “Race for Water Odyssey”, a scientific sailing expedition to safeguard oceans from plastic pollution

The “Race for Water Odyssey” (R4WO) has cut to the chase by dropping anchor in Bordeaux, the expedition’s departure city. Initiated by the “Race for Water” Foundation, the R4WO aims to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in oceans. In 300 days, over 40,000 nautical miles will be traveled, punctuated by 11 scientific stopovers and 9 outreach stopovers, involving a total of 13 countries.

This morning, the “MOD70 Race for Water” arrived in Bordeaux with great fanfare for an eventful week. On Sunday, March 15, the crew will raise anchor with the intention of gaining knowledge about waste gyres in less than one year. Even though they constitute a major environmental disaster, these immense pollution zones in oceans are in fact still relatively unknown. The goal of this scientific sailing expedition is to draw up an initial global assessment.

Scientific as well as human, the R4WO also aims to raise awareness about marine pollution—a vital exploit, considering that an estimated 80% of the trash polluting the oceans comes from human activities. The initiative begins today; numerous events have been organized in collaboration with Bordeaux authorities and the Maison Ecocitoyenne (i.e. Eco-Citizen House), which will follow the adventure throughout the year.

A team eager to cast off

After several weeks of technical preparations in Lorient (France), the crew headed from Brittany to Bordeaux.  The six-member onboard team will be headed by Marco Simeoni, founder of the “Race for Water” Foundation and leader of the expedition. Following an illustrious career in telecommunications, this ocean enthusiast decided to devote himself to water preservation. He emphasizes the importance of taking action, and is optimistic:Race for Water Odyssey R4WO KICKING OFF

“Marine plastic pollution is alarming and we must quickly find sustainable collection and valorization solutions. To devise solutions, we must fully understand the problem. I am confident that when we return from this expedition, we will have genuine leads for developing solutions that will preserve our oceans. But drawing up the assessment won’t be the end of our mission; the assessment is merely the first phase of a project that will take several years.”

For his part, Stève Ravussin, famous Swiss navigator and skipper of this expedition, can’t wait to put his seafaring skills to use, and insists that the situation is urgent:

“The sea has given me so much; it enabled me to make a name for myself. The time has come for me to return the favor by showing the extent to which the sea is suffering from our actions. We come across countless diverse objects on the high seas. In 2012 during the Krys Ocean Race with this same catamaran, my path was obstructed by a drifting container, so I know what I am talking about. It is important to make this known, and I look forward to starting the R4WO to move things forward. Our training sessions in Lorient went well, and the entire team is ready to tackle the trip around the world.”

Bordeaux, a very eventful first stop

During the opening stopover in Aquitaine, “Race for Water” invited the public to a number of activities that were organized in collaboration with the City of Bordeaux and the Maison Ecocitoyenne. Mr. Alain Juppé, Mayor of Bordeaux, insisted on conveying his support for the R4WO:

“[Marine plastic] pollution affects every region of the world and has long-lasting consequences on marine ecosystems. Action must be taken immediately, and that is why I insisted on supporting the ‘Race for Water Odyssey’, an ambitious expedition that intends to map out and measure the five marine pollution patches across the globe. (…) I am extending my full support to the team of explorers and scientists who are committed to this noble project, vital for the future of the planet.”Race for Water Odyssey R4WO

The festivities begin today with the docking of the “MOD70 Race for Water” at the Richelieu Quay landing, and the inauguration of the departure village. Also on the agenda: events organized with Bordeaux schools on Thursday, March 12, and an afternoon dedicated to children on Friday, March 13. The departure village, set up in front of the Maison Ecocitoyenne, and the landing will be open to the public until Sunday.

The highlight of this stopover, the departure of the “MOD70 Race for Water”, will take place on Sunday, March 15 at approximately 3 pm. The trimaran and her crew will then set sail for Azores (Portugal), the first of the R4WO’s eleven scientific stopovers, where the scientific protocol will be deployed for the first time. Before returning to Bordeaux in mid-December 2015, the crew will sail for 300 days in order to draw up an initial global pollution assessment of the “world’s biggest trash can”.

Follow the R4WO’s progress live here !

ABOUT: BORDEAUX/DP

 Marina : Bordeaux

 Mission : sensibilisation

 Arrival : 11.03.2015

 Departure : 15.03.2015

PROGRAM:
Wednesday 11th of March: Arrival of the « MOD70 Race for Water » – Ponton d’honneur, Quai Richelieu14h-18h: Access to the pontoon “Ponton d’honneur-Quai Richelieu” with the “MOD70 Race For Water” / “Race for Water Pavilion” official opening – Maison écocitoyenne

Press conference – Launch of the “Race for Water Odyssey”
Thursday 12th of March

Press/VIP tour aboard the “MOD70 Race for Water Odyssey” (under conditions)

10h-18h: Departure Village, pontoon and “Race for Water Pavilion” open to the public – Maison écocitoyenne

Activities with school pupils
Friday 13th of March

10h-18h: Departure Village, pontoon and “Race for Water Pavilion” open to the public – Maison écocitoyenne

Children’s afternoon

Cocktail dinner with city hall representatives
Saturday 14th of March

10h-18h: Departure Village, pontoon and “Race for Water Pavilion” open to the public, special activities – Maison écocitoyenne
Sunday 15th of March

10h-15h: Departure Village, pontoon and “Race for Water Pavilion” open to the public, special activities – Maison écocitoyenne

15h : Official departure of the “Race for Water Odyssey” – Ponton d’honneur, Quai Richelieu

More information about the program in Bordeaux here !

by admin and raceforwater.com

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