•NZ/American becomes the first skipper to complete the Vendee Globe race with zero emissions on Foresight Natural Energy
Kiwi/American skipper Conrad Colman has triumphed over unimaginable challenges at sea to finish the 2016 Vendee Globe onboard Foresight Natural Energy IMOCA60, sponsored by Foresight Group ("Foresight”).
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To say "it has not been an easy race for the New Zealander” would be a considerable understatement as after successfully overcoming numerous problems onboard in the South Atlantic and Southern oceans, Foresight Natural Energy suffered a catastrophic dismasting 200 miles off Lisbon on 10 February, just 793 nautical miles from Sables d’Olonne. Resolved to fight on, the intrepid Kiwi constructed an ingenious "Jury Rig” to bring him home despite suffering severely depleted rations and power on board. Colman survived on life raft biscuits and powdered soup for the last days of his journey restricting him to just 700 calories a day – less than a third the recommended amount.
Conrad crossed the finish line in Les Sables d’Olonne, France at 14:00 hrs UTC on Friday in 16th position after 110 days 1 hour 58 minutes and 41 seconds at sea.
With a confident belief in using only natural energy, Conrad’s yacht carried renewable energy generation and storage technology on board, generating solar power from thin film solar panels integrated on either side of its mainsails and the cockpit roof generating 400W, boosting power supplied by an electrical hydro-generator driven by the boat’s movement through water.
The power was stored in special Lithium Ion batteries with the capacity equivalent to half a Tesla, having removed the diesel engine which is the principal power source for other competitors, thus producing zero emissions.
A strong believer in renewable energy and the responsibility the human race has for the sustainability of the earth, Colman’s participation in the race has been 10 years in the making. He has vowed to continue his work in promoting the environmental agenda by participating in future races with eco powered yachts.
The Vendee Globe is a solo sailing race during which skippers must circumnavigate the globe non-stop and without assistance.
As one of the leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment managers specialising in renewable energy generation and infrastructure, Foresight became lead sponsor just four days before departure in November 2016, joining the existing technical partners Ocean Volt and Super B.
Colman, who was greeted by thousands of people lining the famous Channel in Les Sables d’Olonne said: ‘I am proud to have been able to complete the race using zero emissions and believe that the technology has proved itself in one of the most grueling off shore sailing challenges.
"It has been an incredible adventure for me and I am humbled by the response from the many fans around the world and grateful to my talented land based team and sponsor for their support in this extraordinary project.”
Ben Thompson, Group Marketing Director, Foresight, commented:
"It has been an honour for Foresight to have pinned its colours to Conrad’s campaign, supporting him in his ambition to be the first skipper to complete the Vendee Globe without the use of fossil-fuels and to witness his triumphant return to Les Sables d’Olonne. We are frankly in awe of Conrad’s tenacity, resilience and ingenuity in the face of considerable challenges and are proud to have supported his commitment to showcase the potential of natural energy”.
For more information contact:
Annabel Arrowsmith, Foresight Group, firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)20 3667 8179
NOTES FOR EDITORS
About Foresight Group LLP ("Foresight”):
Foresight is a leading independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager which has been managing investment funds on behalf of institutions and retail clients for more than 30 years.
Foresight has £2.3 billion of Assets Under Management across a number of funds, including Listed Vehicles, Limited Partnerships, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS’s) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCT’s).
Foresight has offices in London, Manchester, Nottingham, Guernsey, Rome, San Francisco and Sydney.