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Jersey eco-sailor officially set to take on round-the-world race

Jersey eco-sailor officially set to take on round-the-world race

Sunday 26 March 2023

Jersey eco-sailor officially set to take on round-the-world race

Sunday 26 March 2023


A Jersey sailor aiming to get more mariners using clean energy has officially registered to take part in a solo round-the-world race - which he is pledging to complete without the use of fossil fuels.

Phil Sharp is one of Jersey's most successful sailors, having achieved over 25 podiums in transatlantic and coastal races — winning two Championships and breaking three World Sailing Speed Records.

Now, he has officially registered for the Vendée Globe, viewed by many as one of the toughest sporting challenges in the world.

A solo round-the-world yacht race, the Vendée Globe will take Phil 24,000 nautical miles from Les Sables d’Olonne, down the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope, then clockwise around Antarctica, past Cape Horn, and back again.

As well as hopefully racking up another accolade, Phil hopes to be the first person to complete the 24,000 mile nautical race in a yacht running exclusively on clean energy.

Through his clean-energy management and technology company 'OceansLab', Phil aims to demonstrate to the maritime industry that there is a viable alternative to fossil fuels, and to encourage a move towards clean energy. 

His new vessel, the 60ft long IMOCA 60, is currently being custom-built and will be powered with the Genevos Hydrogen Power Module.

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Pictured: Phil Sharp with the Genevos Hydrogen Power Module. 

Designed by Phil and team at 'OceansLab', the module is a 100% zero-emission propulsion pack, running entirely on hydrogen and releasing only water and heat as by-products.

Earlier this month, OceansLab partnered with the Government of Jersey with the aim of establishing a zero-carbon consortium to investigate the use of hydrogen technology on port infrastructure and vessels including ferries, service vessels and cargo ships.

Phil said of the Vendée Globe race: "It is a non-stop, single-handed around-the-globe without assistance. So it's the toughest race out there, which I find quite alluring because I think it's one of these events with so much uncertainty behind it that it'll give me more satisfaction for doing it in the long run."

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Pictured: Phil hopes to be the first person to complete the Vendée Globe in a yacht running exclusively on clean energy.

Phil's primary motivation for attempting this race is to demonstrate to the maritime community that clean energy is a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

He said: "We have a lot of interest, but we just need to kind of interest into action...there's a lot of people talking about and a lot of people looking at hydrogen technology, because it really is the only way for a vessel to reach zero emissions longer term.

"Really, the long term objective of the project is to make sure we can we can reach a cleaner, greener ocean transport for everyone, and I think it's relevant for everyone is well, because 95% of the food that we buy travels overseas.

"The shipping industry is responsible for 15% of global CO2 emissions and we need to we need to do something about that quite quickly." 

The Vendée Globe race will take place from 10 November 2024 to February 2025. So far, 28 skippers have signed up, with a total of 55 intending to compete. 

For more information on Phil Sharp and the 'OceanLab project, you can click HERE.

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