Today, September 4, 2020, marks one year since 11th Hour Racing Team was officially announced. As we prepare to come together for our Fall sailing session in our home port of Newport, Rhode Island, we’re taking a look back at the campaign’s first remarkable year.
2019 consisted of a full on sailing schedule as team leaders Charlie Enright and Mark Towill learned the ins and outs of a new-to-them development class with the IMOCA 60. Charlie took on double-handed sailing for the first time with co-skipper Pascal Bidégorry. Together, they saw success on the podium in the Défi Azimut with third place and finished fourth in the Transat Jacques Vabre. The team turned their focus to crewed sailing in The Ocean Race configuration on a training delivery from Brazil to France in November.
During the winter months of 2019 sailing came to a pause as the boat underwent an extensive refit in Vannes, France. Then, plans to hit the water in March came to a standstill when the global pandemic hit.
Despite 2020 not being the year any of us anticipated, the Team have been working hard the last eight months, spread around the globe unable to come together due to COVID-19. Here’s a small glimpse into what the Team has been up to this year:
We’ve been learning:
- We’ve had ten #OceanHour sessions on topics from doughnut economics [no doughnuts were harmed (but plenty consumed) in the making of this session] to 40,000 year old ice from the Antarctic with Dr. Robert Mulvaney; from ocean acidification with Richard Vevers to the circular economy.
We’ve been writing:
- As a part of our Sustainability Toolkit to help other teams and organizations implement their sustainability programs and benefit from what we’ve learned we launched the ‘How to Guides’ with the first in the series – How to Create a Sustainability Policy. We have drafts almost ready to go for the remaining guides: watch this space for more resources…
We’ve set targets:
- Our sustainability team has produced a set of 4 Principles, 12 Goals and 73 Targets that are mapped to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030 that the team will be guided by over the coming months and years.
- All 20 of our key suppliers are engaged as part of our sustainable supply chain plan. For example, we’ve been working with our partners at CDK and developed with them new systems to mitigate waste. 100% of materials for a special project were reused or recycled with wood sourced from 100% PEFC certified sources.
- It was a long crossing from Concarneau, France to Newport, RI (13 days) and it was a wild ride. Amory Ross likened it to ‘going ten rounds with Mohammed Ali’. The trip gave our team valuable data on the new foil and a chance to see how the boat performs in the multitude of conditions that were thrown at us.
We’ve supported science:
- On our transatlantic, we dropped a NOAA drifter buoy overboard as we sailed over the Newfoundland Grand Banks and as a part of The Ocean Race science program we tested a water sampling device called an OceanPack. The onboard system samples seawater to measure CO2 levels, sea surface temperature and salinity. We’re proud to be doing our part to contribute to ocean science measuring the impacts of climate change on ocean health.
The team continues to operate from countries around the world, but will be soon be gathering in Newport, RI, for the next training block to take place over the coming months. A huge thank you to all our supporters and fans for going on this journey with us: we love hearing from you and sharing our news.
To get an inside glimpse of the team and watch the premier of our August 2020 Transatlantic video (we know you can’t get enough of Amory Ross’ footage!), we invite you to join us on Friday, September 18th, for a ‘Team Homecoming’ hosted by NewportFILM, Sail Newport, and our title sponsor, 11th Hour Racing. Local to Newport? Join us in person for drive-in style entertainment. Otherwise, we encourage you to watch the virtual livestream. More event details can be found here.