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World Wildlife Fund bring fully solar-powered boat to Ibiza

Ever fancied being aboard a Guinness World Record winning boat? Now’s your chance!

This Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd August the Guinness World Record winning catamaran ‘Solar’ will visit Ibiza harbour. Back in 2007, the specially adapted catamaran became the fastest boat ever to cross the Atlantic using exclusively renewable energy.

Originally called ‘Sun21’ and developed by Swiss association Transatlantic21, it was donated to the World Wildlife Fund after winning its place in the world’s most prestigious record book. Since then, ‘Solar’ has spent her time touring Spain with a dedicated WWF crew, demonstrating how doable the change to renewables can be in a national campaign called ‘Embárcate’ (get on board).

The catamaran has no sails and traversed the entire 7000 nautical mile transatlantic crossing on solar power only, demonstrating the great potential of this kind of renewable technology for ocean navigation. A technology that could prove to be particularly interesting for Ibiza, determined as the island is to reduce its reliance on oil and oil products in light of the continuing Ibiza says No! campaign.

Ibiza’s determination to shake off the clutches of big oil has sparked a collaboration between the WWF and local grassroots organisation Alianza Mar Blava, formed specifically to bring together the entire community to fight Cairn Energy’s widely condemned Ibiza oil rig project. Both organisations are dedicated to demonstrating the importance of renewable energy for the future of all. Indeed, the WWF has been dedicated to protecting the environment since 1961.

Michel Thonney, proud skipper of the boat during the World record transatlantic crossing and man of few words commented: "I don't particularly like speeches but I would like to shout out to the world - use solar energy!"

If you would like some background on Ibiza’s well-documented battle to keep oil surveys and ultimately drilling away from the seas around its coast, please check out our previous article.

If you would like to find out more about this impressive boat, meet the crew, ask questions or simply have a look around, you are very warmly invited. It’s also a great opportunity to find out more about the Ibiza Says No! campaign and to get involved yourself!

The programme begins at 11am on Friday morning, August 1st outside the Hotel Playa Real in Talamanca with a huge sand sculpture made by an artist to represent the Balearic flora and fauna.

At 12pm the artist will run a workshop for children who will learn how to make their very own sand sculptures!

Then later, on both Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd August, ‘Solar’ will be moored at the harbour in Ibiza Town and will be open to the public from 7.30pm until midnight. WWF and Alianza Mar Blava will also have stands with activities and information related to sustainable fishing and renewable energy in general.

Your intrepid Spotlight team will be down at Talamanca on Friday to take photos and chat with Solar’s crew - we’d love for you to come and join us, see you there?

WORDS | Jane Charilaou PHOTO | WWF

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