Yvan Griboval, navigator of Club des Explorateurs from the Yacht Club de Monaco, will set off on another Oceanoscientific Expedition on 15 October from the YCM’s main pontoon at the controls of the AMAALA EXPLORER maxi-catamaran, former CLUB MED.
After having studied fifteen potential candidates in three years since his return, on 2 June 2017, from his single-handed, round-the-world journey on the first oceanographic sailing campaign with no CO2 emissions under the 40th Southern Parallel, Yvan Griboval has chosen the 110-foot (33.50 m) maxi-catamaran AMAALA EXPLORER formerly (OCEAN PEARL and CLUB MED), winner of the only two crewed multihull races around the world, The Race 2000 and the Oryx Quest 2005.
The scientific purpose of the campaign is collecting samples of chemical contaminants according to the recommendations of the Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (Ifremer), which is supervising the scientific aspects of this OceanoScientific Contaminants Mediterranean Expedition 2020. A 1,500 nautical mile (2,800 km) course that will run from Monaco to Porto Cervo, Barcelona, La Seyne-sur-Mer and Monaco. The expedition will end on Thursday, 29 October in Monaco.
During the expedition, nine locations will be used to collect samples, which will then be stored in the onboard freezer and handed over to researchers at Ifremer Toulon. The scientists will quantify and analyze the concentration of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and tributyltins (TBT), all of which are organic compounds. They too poison the food chain until it ends up on our plates.
In addition to Ifremer, the major partner and sponsor of this OceanoScientific Contaminants Mediterranean Expedition 2020 is AMAALA. The international team in charge of developing this incredibly beautiful Saudi Arabian site has been tasked by the Saudi Kingdom to preserve its environment and, in particular, the magnificent coral reefs in the Red Sea, and to balance its carbon footprint.
AMAALA, located along Saudi Arabia’s northwestern coast, is an ultra-luxury destination that focuses on transformative personal journeys inspired by wellness, arts, culture and the purity of the Red Sea. Amaala is in close proximity to major destinations in the region, including Riyadh, Dubai and Istanbul
After leaving Monaco and a large detour via the mouth of the Tiber, the AMAALA EXPLORER maxi-catamaran will call at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo, where a joint conference is scheduled with the One Ocean Foundation on the theme of their own campaign to collect micro-plastics all around Sardinia and that of theOceanoScientific Contaminants Mediterranean Expedition 2020.
The conference will be held in the presence of the crews competing in the Audi Sailing Champions League involving some thirty teams from more than fifteen countries. It will provide an opportunity to make this population of international regatta racers aware of the need to preserve the Ocean by reducing the use of polluting materials, first and foremost plastics of all kinds.
The AMAALA EXPLORER maxi-catamaran will then head to Barcelona to be welcomed by the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB), renowned for organizing several editions of the Barcelona World Race and for allowing many young Spanish sailors to rise through the ranks of Ocean racing leading to the Vendée Globe.
Theresa Zabell, as President-Founder of the Fundación Ecomar, which celebrated its twentieth anniversary last year, will supervise the port call . The foundation, which invites young people to practice sailing and the Spanish public to help preserve the Ocean, in particular by reducing sources of plastic pollution, is one of the oldest in Europe in this respect. FNOB and the Fundación Ecomar have organized an agenda filled with conferences and activities to make the most of the port call by the AMAALA EXPLORER maxi-catamaran.
After a weekend in Barcelona, the crew will set sail for the mouth of the Rhone. “I think this voyage will be the most hectic of the Expedition, if not the most delicate,” explains Yvan Griboval. “We will have to cross the Gulf of Lion, which already a complex task in the summer, but frankly windy and choppy with short, powerful waves at this time of the year. But if we succeed in hugging the Spanish coast long enough to take shelter as far as the redoubtable Cap Creus, which virtually marks the border between Spain and France, we shall have an exceptional speed run recalling the heyday of this unique catamaran, which is particularly at ease in a strong crosswind, which is what it was designed for.”
Leaving the station at the mouth of the Rhone, the AMAALA EXPLORER maxi-catamaran will make its way to La Seyne-sur-Mer in order to hand over the samples collected in the nine stations of the course to Ifremer Toulon on Wednesday 28 October, before the final arrival in Monaco on Thursday 29 October at 11:00 am in the presence of Sovereign Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Before the 40-meter mast-wing signals the arrival of the oceanographic sailboat above the Monegasque docks, the photographer Greg Lecoeur will present the Sovereign Prince with an exhibition of his photos of plankton taken offshore – and not under a laboratory microscope – and staged by Yvan Griboval on a plankton fresco 13 meters long and two meters high, entitled LOVE THE OCEAN® Exhibition – Greg Lecoeur. The exhibition has been set up with the support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
A few minutes before the AMAALA EXPLORER maxi-catamaran docks at the honorary pontoon of the Yacht Club de Monaco on Thursday, 29 October 2020, Olivia Dorato will present this pop-philharmonic Anthem of the Ocean to the Sovereign Prince using the sound system of the YCM marina.
In the future, the LOVE THE OCEAN® anthem will accompany all of the OceanoScientific Expeditions.
In order to scrupulously respect the instructions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Monegasque Bettimask Company has provided masks bearing the logo of the OceanoScientific associations to the crew of the maxi-catamaran and to the team organizing the OceanoScientific Contaminants Mediterranean Expedition 2020.
(Yvan Griboval leaves for another OceanoScientific Expedition – Barchemagazine.com – Octiober 2020)