Phil Sharp's boat, the latest addition to the IMOCA class, was officially launched at the end of last week in La Rochelle by Rebecca Sharp, the skipper's wife and business partner. The official patron of OceansLab is Bertrand Piccard, Swiss explorer and pioneer of clean technologies. And with good reason, although this new generation IMOCA is a Manuard design sistership to Louis Burton's Bureau Vallée (ex L'Occitane en Provence in the 2020 Vendée Globe) and Sam Davies' Initiatives-Cœur, she has some completely innovative features. Phil Sharp wanted to replace his diesel engine (required for safety: if a competitor has to go to help someone at sea, he must be able to manoeuvre under engine)by a green hydrogen system. In the next Vendée Globe, he should be the only skipper not carrying any fossil fuels. For now, time is precious: the British skipper has to reach Martinique in order to be at the start of the Return to Base on 30 November 2023 to begin his qualification process for the round-the-world race.
IMOCA OceansLab - Cleantech Accelerator ready to head for Martinique