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Global Solo Challenge: Delamare ready to “embark” children on global adventure

by Margherita Pelaschier / Global Solo Challenge 27 Sep 03:32 PDT
Philippe Delamare © Global Solo Challenge

Philippe Delamare's Actual 46 Mowgli, with its stunning orange hull, rests peacefully at the dock. She is about to set off on a circumnavigation with her skipper, an adventure that will last nearly six months.

Just a few days before his departure, scheduled for Saturday, September 30th, Philippe told us about the educational program he has designed in connection with his sporting challenge.

"I was looking for a school, preferably far from the sea, with heterogeneous and/or underprivileged children as an audience to participate in my project. Thanks to my family, I discovered the "Anne Sylvestre" school located in Rouen, on the left bank, in the Saint-Sever district. The 4th and 5th-grade teacher liked my project. So, I visited the class. It was wonderful to meet the students and see their enthusiasm at the idea of following us, Mowgli and me, virtually during our circumnavigation. I am a father of four children and, just like Mowgli, the years have not erased my wonder for nature and the sea, nor my joy in sharing. That's why I chose children who don't necessarily have the chance to see the sea frequently. During my journey, I will make video calls to share my experiences. I hope to inspire and let them develop their dreams."

The teacher, Mrs. Céline Alexandre, told us, "It was through mutual acquaintances, including one of my first-grade colleagues, that Philippe contacted me. I have a 4th/5th-grade class made up of nine 4th graders and thirteen 5th graders. A large majority are from immigrant backgrounds, either directly or second or third generation. Two students have a disability, and another, originally from Afghanistan, speaks little French. I also plan to integrate a student from the CRA program (deaf and hard of hearing) who already participates in some courses with us."

"Philippe came to meet the students and took a photo of them, planning to place it on the hull of his boat. The children were delighted. They feel as if they're participating in the voyage. Regarding our collaboration, we are considering weekly video conferences on Fridays. The children will prepare their questions on Thursday to ask the next day. Educationally, I plan, among other things, activities such as preparing tasks, making drawings of their dreams, presentations on the animals Philippe encounters or the countries he approaches. In our geography class, we will track Mowgli's progress on a world map. In science, we will talk about OFNIs (unidentified floating object, debris, flotsam and jettison). We will also likely explore 'The Jungle Book', which inspired the name of the boat, through reading and comprehension activities."

Philippe's longtime friend, Hugues Girod, who will not be present in La Coruña but who has been involved in all of Mowgli's preparation since March of this year, told us about this first meeting, the values he shares with him, and his strengths as a skipper.

"Philippe and I first met in Ushuaia in 2011. Philippe had arrived on his catamaran, sailing from New Zealand and going through Tierra del Fuego alone. As for me, I had come from a long voyage from France, heading south to South America with my family, my wife, and our two children. Later, our paths crossed as we went up the Chilean rivers, and it was in Puerto Montt that we truly got to know each other. Then, we parted ways: Philippe heading for Australia, and I setting out for Canada. However, Philippe contacted me as there was an opportunity to work together in Australia, and I accepted his offer. We shared these moments for 6 years, from 2012 to 2018, in Australia. Today, it's been 12 years since we've known each other. After Australia, I went to New Caledonia for 4 years and returned to France in February 2023. Philippe needed someone to assist him, so I began working with him to prepare for the race. Since March, I have worked intensively on the boat in Lorient."

Continue reading the full article here...

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