The EL.CA.NO. Challenge Progress Report

This year’s Düsseldorf boat show attracted a record number of 250,000 visitors and provided an ideal opportunity to bring the EL.CA.NO. project to a larger audience. Presentations in German and English were held on various stages attracting great interest in this endeavour to mark the 500th anniversary of the first round the world voyage by sailing along the original route in a fully electric yacht. (see Jimmy Cornell’s New Adventure: The Elcano Challenge for more details)

The show was also a suitable venue for the signing of a long-term agreement between the builders Outremer and Oceanvolt, who will supply the electric propulsion system.

On the left Xavier Desmarest, CEO, and Stephane Renard, Director of the Outremer design office; on the right Markus Mustelin, CEO, Christian Hallberg, Commercial Director and Michel Nave, Oceanvolt representative in France.

My last three boats were all equipped with Brookes & Gatehouse material and in recognition of my loyalty that stretches to well over thirty years, the world leader in marine electronics has agreed to sponsor this challenging project. EL.CA.NO. will feature the latest state-of-the art electronic system. The deal was sealed by Simon Conder, Head of Global B&G.

Another long and fruitful relationship is that with Parasailor, the German manufacturer of the revolutionary spinnaker, who have supported many of my projects and will be using my voyage for testing some new design features.

Ed Wildgoose, founder of Mailasail and an old friend, has taken care of all my satellite communications in the past, and will do so again during my long voyage. Things have moved fast in this field and Ed assured me that I shall be able to transmit video reports and even set up live video streaming from anywhere along my route.

Some of that material will be edited by my niece Marianne, who sailed with me in the Northwest Passage and has produced an excellent film of my successful transit. In her professional life Marianne is chief editor at Bavaria Television, but came to the boat show to discuss how and where she could join me on EL.CA.NO.  With my daughter Doina and granddaughter Nera having similar plans perhaps I should have ordered a larger boat.

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