Liz Wardley to start SolOceans challenge

On Saturday 28 November 2009, Liz Wardley (PNG – Australia) will start from Normandy for the Around-the-world Reference Tour of the SolOceans – OceanoScientific® Campaign 2009-2010. She will be solo sailing onboard a SolOceans One-design, a high-tech 16-metre (52.5ft) sailing yacht all in carbon and series produced by JMV Industries at Cherbourg (Normandy – France)

Liz will set sail from Caen la mer with the official start at the Ouistreham Buoy. She will sail a coastal course along the shore of Calvados (Normandy – France): Ouistreham, Cabourg, Dives-sur-Mer, Deauville. She will then head towards Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand, which she should reach after 50 to 55 days, solo sailing against the clock. The second leg, also a 50 to 55-day leg, will complete this circumnavigation, from Wellington  to Cherbourg round Cape Horn.

Liz and her boat Sojasun will pave the way for the SolOceans race, the new single-handed around the world race, where all sailors – men and women – and their sponsors/owners will be on equal footing. The start of the first edition will be from Caen la mer on 23 October 2011.

The SolOceans One-design is a scientific vessel as well as a solo round world racer. It meets the standards defined in November 2006 by some of the most distinguished researchers working on Climate Change in the French Institutions: IFREMER / INSU-CNRS / METEO FRANCE and joined by the Germans from IFM-GEOMAR, and soon by METSERVICE in New Zealand.

The SolOceans One-design carries unique equipment: the OceanoScientific® Kit. Some of its equipment and software were specially conceived at Caen by SailingOne (designer of the SolOceans race and of the SolOceans One-design) and developed both in France and Germany for collecting scientific data and transmitting them via satellite.

One of the eight scientific missions of the SolOceans One-design will be to transmit to researchers via satellite sea surface salinity data of the oceans they will be crossing, in order to help calibrate the SMOS Satellite, that was placed in orbit on 2 November by the Agence Spatiale Européenne (ESA), in collaboration with CNES.

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