This is a low carbon ocean racing project that will take on some of the toughest human sporting encounters in the world today.
As an environmental initiative set up by Sharp’s company PS Racing, the challenge aims to succeed in skippering a boat that will circumnavigate the globe non-stop using zero emissions.
In collaboration with the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College London, PS Racing has developed a novel concept for a CO2-free, high efficiency, energy storage and distribution system. Added to the highlights of the world of international sailing championships (six transatlantic and two round the world races), Sharp’s unique journey over the next five years will be about learning, innovation, endeavour, and determination.
Robert Parker, Chairman of the Hotel which is also hosting the official race office for Sharp, commented: “Our support of Phil as a Corporate Partner is a great opportunity to encourage and promote a world class local sportsman who is also a great ambassador for Jersey. The Energy Challenge will no doubt present him and his team with some extreme tests as it looks to harness and develop important eco technology. We are very much looking forward to being part of their adventure.”
And, in June 2016, the excitement began as Sharp beat all odds by racing his vessel, Imerys, to finish The Transat bakerly 2016 on the Class40 podium in third place. He covered a total of 3798 nautical miles of the Atlantic, with an average speed of 8.32 knots.
During his 19 days, 31 minutes and five seconds at sea, Skipper Sharp was subject to time penalties, burst spinnakers, ripped sails, power loss, the boat taking on water and, finally, a giant gaping hole in his mainsail. Even so, he dealt with every unexpected trial the race had to throw at him – determined to make it to New York. And that he did – but of course the project is just beginning …
Over the course of the next year in preparation for the big races (culminating in the 2020 Vendée), modules of the renewable energy system will be developed and tested aboard Sharp’s Class 40 race yacht to ensure their success and reliability.
With any new knowledge behind them, PS Racing will then be able to work with a yacht reliant on a zero-emissions energy management system that capitalises on the latest innovations in renewable energy and hydrogen fuel cell technology. This will provide a powerful demonstration of the potential efficiency and reliability of renewable energy to achieve competitive, sustainable power generation in future vehicle technology.
Additionally, the project is also working with international climate change research institutions to help calibrate current climate models and assess the true cause of CO2 increases.
You can follow the Energy Challenge team throughout the all their race activity with the live Georacing tracker. And for more news, social media, and LinkedIn updates about the project, click through to the official website at www.philsharpracing.com.
The legendary Vendée Globe is one of the wildest and most extreme sporting endurance events in the world. It is a non-stop, single handed race around the planet in the most technically advanced ‘IMOCA 60’ yachts and takes place every four years. It starts and finishes on the French Vendée coast and means around 78-90 days and 27,600 solo miles sailing non-stop and unassisted.