© Austin Wong / The Ocean Race

By 11th Hour Racing

Yesterday, 11th Hour Racing Team Skipper, Charlie Enright (USA), spoke at the One Ocean Summit in Brest, France, calling for concrete action to protect the ocean and reverse its declining health. The conference, an initiative of the French President, Emmanuel Macron, with the support of the United Nations, aimed to establish tangible commitments by global policymakers for years to come.

A passionate advocate for ocean health and marine protection, Enright joined a diverse panel of experts, politicians, activists, and decision-makers in the Breton city and shared some of his experiences while racing around the world: “We sailors have the privilege of seeing the ocean in all its awesome glory – whether we are becalmed in the Doldrums or in the rage of the Southern Ocean. However, to continue to stand out as an impactful sport, we must work together to radically change the way we are doing business. We must be ambassadors for the ocean that carries us, and do everything we can to keep it healthy.”

Enright leads US-based sailing outfit 11th Hour Racing Team, a contender for The Ocean Race 2022-23. With a mission to combine sporting performance with sustainable practices throughout its areas of influence, in August the Team launched a next-generation 60-foot IMOCA Class race boat and recently published its Design & Build Report

“Across the marine industry, we have to reduce our footprint by 50% by the year 2030 to align with the Paris Agreement,” explained Enright.“Within our sport, for too long we have chased performance over a responsibility for the environment and people. We must work together to reduce the impact of boat builds, adopt the use of alternative materials like bio-resins and recycled carbon, lobby for a change to Class and event rules to reward sustainable innovations, and support races and events that are managed with a positive impact on our planet and people.”

Putting the ocean at the forefront of the international agenda for environmental preservation, the One Ocean Summit contributes to the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). This ten-year long initiative seeks to support transformative ocean science solutions for sustainable development, connecting people to the ocean.

Enright and an international line-up of sailing talent, including the likes of Vendée Globe winner François Gabart (FRA), Pip Hare (GBR), Yves Parlier (FRA), Alan Roura (SUI), and Charlie Dalin (FRA) confirmed their commitment by signing the ‘Seafarer’s Appeal for the Ocean’. The Appeal calls on governments around the world to act now for positive ocean health.

“Not one person here alone, not one single government, nor one organization can protect our ocean on their own. It is only through collaboration can we make the radical changes that are required for positive ocean health,” concluded Enright. 

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