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Friends of the Earth International

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 12, 2006
12:39 PM

CONTACT:  Friends of the Earth International
Lisa Grob at 202 222-0744 or lgrob@foe.org
Anna Mitchell at +44 (0) 207 566 1664 or +44 (0) 207 566 1649 or annam@foe.co.uk

 
Wind & Solar Powered Yacht Sets Sail for La Route du Rhum
The Friends of the Earth Highlights the Need for Action on Global Warming
 

WASHINGTON - June 12 - A new state of the art yacht, called Friends of the Earth, will set sail this week from Cape Town, South Africa to highlight the need for national and international action on climate change. The yacht will begin sea trials before taking part in the one of the world’s most challenging solo races – the transatlantic La Route du Rhum - in October. The 2006 Route du Rhum will be the first international race for the Class 40 yacht.

British born skipper, Jonathan Crinion, will be sailing the high seas in support of Friends of the Earth’s global warming campaign, which is calling on the U.S. to cut carbon dioxide emissions annually, set higher automobile fuel efficiency standards, and support wind and solar energy.

Jonathan Crinion, worked with Owen Clarke Design, the naval architects responsible for Ellen MacArthur’s victory in the 2000 Europe New Man Star Race, to develop a state of the art racing yacht and a showcase for some of the technological solutions to climate change. Environmentally friendly features include four solar panels which will power the yacht’s electrical equipment and a solar shower.

“The Route du Rhum is one of the world’s premiere long distance races and I am thrilled to have the chance to sail against some of the best sailors in the world. I am equally thrilled to be sailing in support of Friends of the Earth’s global warming campaign. It shows that the solutions to global warming already exist and there is still time to take action,” said Jonathan Crinion.

“The ‘Friends of the Earth’ yacht will use the power of the wind and sun to compete in the Route du Rhum. Wind and solar power are just two of the many solutions to climate change that already exist but which are being ignored in the U.S. That’s why our global warming campaign is calling for the U.S. to make annual cuts in carbon dioxide emissions,” said Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder.

The yacht’s maiden voyage will take it from Cape Town via the Azores to Falmouth in UK to finalise preparations ahead of La Route du Rhum which begins in St. Malo in France on Sunday 29th October 2006 and finishes at Pointe à Pitre in Guadeloupe.  The competition marks the start of a two year race program.

Resources:

Features of the yacht and biographical information on Jonathan Crinion - www.foe.org/new/releases/june2006/yacht.html

Pictures of the yacht and Jonathan Crinion are available - www.foe.co.uk/resource/images/yacht_2006.           

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