Best-selling sailing author, rally organiser and long-time cruising sailor Jimmy Cornell has clocked up another first in his amazing career. His newest venture, the Atlantic Odyssey, featuring 22 boats from 11 different countries in a crossing of the Atlantic, has participated in a research program in conjunction with UNESCO.
Atlantic Odyssey finished, Blue Planet Odyssey to come - all involved with ocean research
Sailors taking part in the Atlantic Odyssey made a practical contribution to a research program under the aegis of UNESCO by launching four drifter buoys used for oceanographic observations. This is the first time that sailors in a rally have played an active role in a scientific research program.
Despite the weather, which saw exceptional calms and an absence of trade winds on the route to the Caribbean, all boats sailing in the first Atlantic Odyssey have arrived safely in Martinique.
The first boat to arrive in Port du Marin on 7th December was Gemm, an Italian Swan 55 skippered by Vincenzo Visenzi, who made the Atlantic crossing in 20 days, taking a week longer than expected. The Danish 30 foot Capibara was the last to complete the 2800 miles crossing from Lanzarote.
The twenty two boats took the start from Lanzarote on 17 November. The majority of the crews were families, with a total of 16 children, which reflects the family atmosphere of this new transatlantic event.
The scientific programme pioneered by the Atlantic Odyssey has been a resounding success, as outlined in this article published on the UNESCO website:
Participation in such scientific projects will be the hallmark of all Odyssey rallies and the success of the first Atlantic Odyssey bodes well for next year’s edition, which will be preceded by the European Odyssey, a new event aimed at North European sailors heading south in summer 2014.
Starting in Hamburg in early July, the European Odyssey will call at a number of attractive destinations on its way to the Canaries or Mediterranean.
Such scientific programs enable sailors taking part in the Odyssey rallies to contribute meaningfully to marine and weather research, as well as raising awareness of the threats facing our oceans today.
This objective is close to the heart of Jimmy Cornell, founder of the Atlantic Odyssey. He intends to put it at the centre of all of the Odyssey events, by encouraging those who take part to contribute to projects that help protect the oceans.
With this in mind, all Odysseys share the motto: ‘The oceans – our heritage for the future’.
The Atlantic Odyssey is sponsored by Puerto Calero Marinas in Lanzarote and by the Martinique Tourism Board, and is organised by Cornell Sailing Events.
To find more information about any of Jimmy Cornell's projects, go to the website: http://www.cornellsailing.com/