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France SailGP Team announces the Energy Observer Foundation as Race for the Future Partner

15 APRIL 2021News
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  • France

Auray, (FRANCE) - April 15, 2021 - The France SailGP Team is partnering with Energy Observer Foundation to work together to showcase French innovation and new thinking for a better planet. Energy Observer Foundation will be the teams Race for the Future partner helping the sports pinnacle league accelerate the transition to clean energy and work to explore practical clean energy solutions while raising awareness through the global platform about the challenges of ecological transition geared around clean energy. This is a central part of the global league’s ambitions purpose agenda to race for a better future and champion a world powered by nature.

SailGP Season 2: a Race for the Future partner for every team

The latest generation annual, global championship, SailGP is the first climate positive sports and entertainment property and uses its platform for good. New for Season 2, each of the eight national teams will collaborate with a Race for the Future partner to develop concrete actions for social and environmental impact.

“We immediately opted to place the emphasis on the environmental aspect as we all need to make changes and support innovating for a better planet, explains Thibault Laudren, Head of Operations for the France SailGP Team. France is one of the leading countries on matters related to ecological transition and sustainable development as a result of the Paris Agreement as well as its hosting of the Olympic Games for Paris 2024, where the intention is that it will become the first Games to make a positive contribution to the climate. Equally, numerous French companies and start-ups are developing technologies linked to clean energies and we truly believe in french innovation for a better planet.”

France SailGP Team backs renewable energies

The French team has opted to work alongside Energy Observer Foundation, which is an organisation that explores and develops solutions that prove that another future for energy is possible, an optimistic future, which is more respectful of the planet and the people who live here. “Among the numerous projects and associations linked to the protection of the environment, the Energy Observer Foundation was most in sync with the objectives of “Race for the Future”, a factor reinforced by the obvious links with the sailing environment,” explains Thibault Laudren.

Indeed, the Energy Observer project came to fruition in 2013 as a result of the commitment of an ocean-going sailor, Victorien Erussard. He gathered around him a complementary team of professional sailors, engineers and reporters in order to create the first self-sufficient hydrogen-powered vessel, capable of drawing its energy from nature whilst also preserving it.

“The Energy Observer team is familiar with the environment in which our race boats navigate, adds Thibault Laudren, so they understand our constraints and the challenges faced by our events. From an operational standpoint, it’s a real bonus to be able to quickly take practical steps and accelerate the transition of our own championship. We also have networks, which are both connected and complementary, that we’re keen to engage through this partnership with a view to building new collaborations around these energy transition challenges. Energy Observer has also been appointed primary French ambassador for the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations, the same goals, which are an integral part of SailGP’s strategy and a theme around which we’re keen to raise awareness among our fans and our audience.”

A win-win partnership

The technologies developed by Energy Observer, such as hydrogen generators or marinized fuel cells, are intriguing areas of development for the SailGP League in its goal to have all events 100% powered by clean energy by 2025. According to Thibault Laudren, “These are technologies we can imagine using within the league in the near future for such things as supplying the SailGP technical base with electricity, or powering the electric motors on the ribs required by the teams or the race organisation”.

For Energy Observer, which has a strong presence and is widely renowned in France, this new partnership with the French team is a unique opportunity to access the SailGP league, which is synonymous with the latest generation sailing at the cutting-edge of technology. Indeed, broadcast across nearly 150 regions the world over, the SailGP events serve as a remarkable international showcase.

“We’re very happy to be sharing our adventure with the France SailGP Team”, said Victorien Erussard. “We’re convinced that our Energy Observer technologies can be useful to the development of innovative solutions and hence assist them with satisfying the goals set in terms of clean energies. As far as we’re concerned, SailGP is a great global showcase for helping us to grow beyond France’s borders and reach a wider audience, which is sensitive to mechanical sports and new technologies.”

SailGP: a global platform for accelerating the transition towards clean energies and defend a better world propelled by nature.

Present at the France Sail Grand Prix in Saint-Tropez on 11 and 12 September, Energy Observer’s travelling exhibition will serve to raise awareness among the public audience and all the protagonists from the global league about the need to build a cleaner future. Visitors will have the chance to discover the innovative solutions for energy production developed by Energy Observer, together with the initiatives which are changing the world and have been explored in some depth over the past seven years thanks to the expeditions undertaken by the first vessel to be powered by clean energies and hydrogen, a genuine laboratory for ecological transition.

"SailGP’s Race for the Future purpose-driven platform is just as important as competitive performance this year," adds Billy Besson, helm of the French F50. "We have an ambitious sustainability plans with a series of precise goals to be met by 2025, - using 100% clean energies on-shore and on-water at our events, Energy Observer stood out as a great fit partner for us and the league through its ability to offer up some highly practical solutions in terms of the production of clean energies. The aim now will be to find more solutions applicable for SailGP so as to accelerate the transition to clean energy. This partnership will play a critical part and we are all looking forward to seeing where it will take us this year,” he concludes.

Further information about Race for the Future is available here.