28 August 2019
The original hull of the legendary racing boat on which Peter Blake won the Jules Verne Trophy in 1993 has been transformed into an electric-powered ship, running on a mix of renewable energies and a carbon-free, hydrogen production system that is seawater-based.
Energy Observer is undertaking a six-year global circumnavigation taking in 50 countries and 101 stopovers.
According to its creators, Energy Observer is the first hydrogen vessel, aiming for the energy autonomy, with zero greenhouse gas emissions or fine particles.
This former race boat, an outstanding competitor has been fully transformed into a vessel of the future, powered by electric propulsion thanks to a mix of renewable energies and a hydrogen production system that produces carbon-free hydrogen on board using seawater.
Energy Observer is undertaking an odyssey around the world on the search for innovative solutions for the environment. More than a vessel, Energy Observer is a media platform providing positive and inspiring content in favour of innovative solutions.
Victorien Erussard, offshore racer and merchant naval officer, will lead the expedition, along with Jérôme Delafosse, professional diver and producer of wildlife documentaries.
By their side, a team of over 30 people, architects, designers, and engineers, spreading from Saint-Malo to Paris to Grenoble, have been working since 2015 on refurbishing the catamaran.
Built in Canada in 1983 by naval architect Nigel Irens, under the supervision of sailor Mike Birch, the maxi-multihull marked the evolution of its successors.
Originally Formule TAG, it was the first racing sailboat to break the symbolic 500 miles limit in 24 hours in 1984.
The boat has since been lengthened four times and now boasts the following dimensions: 30.5-metres LOA, 12.8-metres wide, 28 metric Tonnes in weight and a speed of eight to 10 knots.
According to Victorien Erussard “Energy Observer is a conversion that has a double meaning: to recycle a reliable and lightweight catamaran which is an around the world record holder and to invest in research and development, instead of in composites.”
“The ecological transition needs to be seen as a promise for a better world,” continued Jérôme Delafosse, Expedition leader of Energy Observer.
“Through this exclusive Odyssey, we want to make people dream, to raise awareness, to prove that humans can live in harmony with nature and that the fight against global warming can open some doors to a new economic expansion.”