My solo round the world race with a renewable sailing boat

Conrad Colman, a young sailor from New Zealand, is determined to be the first person to complete the Vendée Globe race without using fossil fuels. 29 sailing boats set off on the 6th November, each of them with just one person aboard. They embarked on a non-stop solo three month journey around the world, navigating in the Southern Ocean, via three iconic locations: Cape of Good Hope (South Africa), Cape Leeuwin (Australia) and Cape Horn (South America). This is the Vendée Globe, one of the most challenging races of its kind, called by experts the “Everest of the Sea”, which starts and finishes in the French city of Les Sables d’Olonne, Loire. The 21 frontrunners of the Vendée Globe are French. Conrad Colman is the first sailor from New Zealand to take part in this race and he’s determined to set a record: becoming the first person to complete it by using exclusively clean energy.

What does Conrad Colman want to do?

45,000 kilometres, a hundred days of voyage (the record is 72), few hours of sleep, moments of tension and exertion, dreadful weather conditions and not a drop of fossil fuels.

Colman explains his commitment to the environment with these words: “Growing up in New Zealand I was aware of the hole in the ozone layer there. Even when I was little I would always clean the beaches with my mum. I became a vegetarian and still am, not  because I care especially about cute lambs but more because I was concerned about the global impact of the chain of food production and consumption”.

Thanks to the technologies employed Colman’s boat uses solely hydro, solar and wind energy. Though he doesn’t need a motor for sailing, he can’t do without electricity for the instrumentation.

By Gloria Schiavi