Velux 5 Oceans launches 'Taking On The Elements'

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Saga Insurance, on leg 2 of the VELUX 5 Oceans from Fremantle, Western Australia
The Velux 5 Oceans today launched its sustainability agenda under the banner of ‘'Taking On The Elements'. The concept brings together all the key stakeholders in the race under the umbrella of the shared value of sustainability, providing a basis of understanding and a platform for activities and communications in 2010 and 2011.

'Taking On The Elements' defines the vision, strategy and tactics under which Clipper Ventures as race organiser, Velux as title sponsor, La Rochelle as start/finish port, the other host ports around the world and all future race partners and suppliers can embrace a message of sustainability through the platform of The Ultimate Solo Challenge.

At a race reception at the Nautic Boat Show in Paris, Chairman of Clipper Ventures Sir Robin Knox-Johnston was joined the Mayor of La Rochelle Maxime Bono and President of Velux France, Michel Langrand. The three main players in the Velux 5 Oceans 2010-11 all outlined their commitment to 'Taking On The Elements' and promoting sustainability across the world.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston stated, “The climate is changing for the worse. Climate change is man-made and is a serious challenge for society – it is our responsibility as humans to reverse this trend. Because we care about the environment of the race, we need to handle it with care, for the benefit of the world and mankind. As a major global sporting event, the Velux 5 Oceans is committed to contributing to the fight against climate change. 'Taking On The Elements' is a concept designed to link the race to its environment and the challenges the world on sustainable development. The ocean, sun and wind are our shared universe, and protecting them our common objective.”

“The Velux 5 Oceans through the race organisation as well as the skippers, partners, stakeholders and followers, strongly supports sustainable development. Together we will take the message of sustainability across five oceans by informing, inspiring and interacting with a global audience. By our actions and approach, the Velux 5 Oceans will demonstrate how it is possible to work against climate change at various levels. We do not claim to be carbon neutral, but believe that any size of contribution counts as fighting climate change.”

Michel Langrand, President of Velux France, added, “In the Velux Group we are very committed to creating solutions for sustainable living. Our vision for future buildings is that they must have a good indoor climate, they need to be energy-efficient and they must utilise sustainable energy sources. With our products and knowledge we have something to offer in all three areas.”

At the race start in La Rochelle The Velux Group will showcase a zero energy concept house and announce and celebrate the winners of the International Velux Award 2010 for students of architecture at an award event. Besides helping others reducing their impact on the climate The Velux Group have set a goal of cutting its own CO2 emission by 50% in 2020.

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, concluded, “Clipper Ventures has equally committed to 'Taking On The Elements' through the creation of the new Eco 60 Class which recycles existing boats and through its associated rules which insist on renewable onboard energy and actively rewards skippers who promote sustainability. At the same time, we will seek to change our mindset through a Race Responsibility Charter which outlines how we are as a race organisation will act and operate.”

“I hope that all the skippers will embrace 'Taking On The Elements' and that this umbrella will welcome further race partners who want to take advantage of the race platform to promote sustainability to a global audience in a meaningful way.”

Two of the confirmed entries in the Eco 60 Class, Derek Hatfield of Canada and Brad van Liew of USA, have embraced the sustainability opportunities of the exciting new Eco 60 Class:

Derek Hatfield (CAN): “We will be competing in the Eco 60 Class as it embodies our core values with regard to the environment and education. The aim is to consume zero fossil fuels as we race around the world. We will be able to attain this by utilizing wind, solar and hydrogen fuel cell technology. The overall budget is relatively small and would be attractive to a company that can use this platform to increase their brand exposure while aligning themselves with a sustainability message. We are currently seeking partners that have these similar goals.”

Brad van Liew ( USA) : “The Eco 60 Rules are only a starting point. Our true goal is to race around the world without using a drop of diesel fuel, proving that modern solo racing no longer requires it. The class requires the use of existing race boats, recycled to compete in what will be a hugely competitive event.”

The ambition of the Velux 5 Oceans is to minimise our contribution to climate change via direct action and promoting sustainable development to a global audience via the race platform, including its skippers, partners and stakeholders

The Velux 5 Oceans accepts the United Nations’ position that greenhouse gas emissions are set to lead to a marked increase in the Earth’s average temperature which is predicted to have significant negative consequences on the planet’s environment. Climate change from rising temperatures has already led to major impacts for the world’s environment and will continue to affect the planet’s oceans and atmosphere, the base environment for the Velux 5 Oceans.
Velux 5 Oceans ©

The Eco 60 Class
Recycling existing boats: The Eco 60 Class avoids significant investment in both financial and material resources in constructing new boats, instead leveraging existing yachts

Power systems:
The Eco 60 Class rules state that there must be three independent power systems onboard on each yacht. One can be fossil fuel based, whilst two must be based on renewable energy and contribute at least 30% of the required power onboard

Race Responsibility Charter:
Clipper Ventures has published a Charter outlining how it will operate and act in order to try to make itself more sustainable