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Press Release: Blue Planet Odyssey Fleet Gets Ready to Set Sail

Photo: Jan Irons – Cruising World

A fleet of yachts will leave Key West in Florida and Martinique on 10 January 2015, as part of the Blue Planet Odyssey round the world sailing rally, aiming to raise awareness of the global effects of climate change and the most urgent issues facing our ocean by visiting endangered parts of the world, such as Tuvalu and the Great Barrier Reef in the Pacific Ocean.

‘I want to show my gratitude to those people all over the world who have welcomed me and countless sailors with warmth, friendship and generosity,’ said Jimmy Cornell, best-selling author and founder of the cruising rally concept. ‘As this Odyssey calls at places where people’s lives are affected by climate change, we want them to know that cruising sailors care for them and empathise with their concerns.

As part of the Blue Planet Odyssey northern route, in the summer of 2014 Jimmy led a small group of cruising yachts to the High Arctic to attempt the fabled Northwest Passage and highlight the threat to the Arctic posed by global warming.

Eighteen yachts from five nations are taking part in the Blue Planet Odyssey warm water route, designed to take advantage of the most favourable weather conditions and to pass through some of the most attractive cruising areas in the world.

Participants were offered the flexibility of a choice of starting ports, with the majority of sailors from the U.S. East Coast opting for Key West. The fleet will leave from Stock Island Marina Village on 10 January, followed by a start from Le Marin in Martinique on 18 January.

The Blue Planet Odyssey sounded like the perfect opportunity to sail safely in a well organized and planned event with like-minded sailors,’ say Rob and Carol Harvey onboard Canadian yacht Maggie. ‘At the same time it allows us to be more than just tourists. Everyone should be concerned with changing climate conditions and we welcome the opportunity to raise awareness of this issue.’

Each yacht has partnered with schools in their home towns as part of an education program enabling students to follow the rally around the world and forge links with schools in the places en route. Participants will also contribute to a number of oceanographic and meteorological projects as part of a unique partnership with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission. Scientific instruments will be deployed in remote ocean areas from where there is an acute absence of up-to-date information on climatic conditions. As well as aiding scientists, this data will benefit sailors world-wide in improving weather forecasting on a global scale.

The Blue Planet Odyssey is organised by Cornell Sailing Events which also runs the Atlantic Odyssey, a family-friendly and non-competitive annual event from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean.

For more information contact Doina Cornell, Event Coordinator, info@cornellsailing.com

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