Liz Wardley who at 20-years-old was the youngest skipper, 1st female skipper with the youngest team in the history of the Sydney Hobart to win, while I crewed with her back in 1999 – has started the ‘OceanoScientific® Campaign 2009-2010’ – a precursor to the ‘Veolia SolOceans Race 2011’, obviously an event I hope to race, this time against her!
At 01.00pm sharp (1200UT), by force 7 wind, Liz Wardley crossed the start line off Caen – Ouistreham (France) of the Around-the-world Reference Tour of the SolOceans – OceanoScientific® Campaign 2009-2010. She rounded Cabourg / Dives-sur-mer (Normandy – France) buoy before heading towards Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand.
The young sailor left in the exact conditions of the SolOceans – the start of the first edition is scheduled on 23 October 2011 – i.e. solo onboard a SolOceans One-design, a 16-Meter (52.5-foot) all-carbon high-tech sailing yacht Made In Normandy. This one-design is at the same time a real scientific vessel and a bold oceanic racing vessel with performances worthy of an 18-metre prototype. The SolOceans One-design proudly sails the colours of the Lower Norman Region (France), Wellington, Caen la mer urban area (France) and Cherbourg (France) – who have supported the creation and development of the SolOceans and the OceanoScientific® Campaign since its creation.
The French Ministry of Higher Education and Research is a patron of this campaign. It will give new scientific data to researchers in order for them to better understand the climate of our planet and precisely determine the causes and consequences of Global warming.
Jean-Louis Borloo, French Minister of Marine Affairs: “is delighted with this initiative allowing us to better understand the oceans and the effect of Climate Change on our seas. That’s why I would like this OceanoScientific® Campaign to be part of the Oceans Round Table actions (Grenelle de la Mer) and to receive very soon an official labelling”
Liz Wardley plans to be back in Lower Normandy in mid-March, at the end of the second leg between Wellington and Cherbourg i.e. two 50 to 55-day single-handed navigations raced against the clock.