‘Re­new­ables’ skip­per sails 2,500 miles

Practical Boat Owner - - News -

Swedish skip­per Bjorn Bertoft has suc­cess­fully sailed to seven coun­tries around the Baltic Sea us­ing just the power of the sun, wind and wa­ter.

He cruised the 2,500 miles from Oslo to Stock­holm via Den­mark, Ger­many, Latvia, Es­to­nia and Fin­land.

The three-month 100 Sun Wind Wa­ter ad­ven­ture was made aboard Bertoft’s 34ft Smaragd Jo­hanna which had been specif­i­cally mod­i­fied, in­clud­ing the in­stal­la­tion of an elec­tric engine which recharges via so­lar pan­els and the boat’s pod drive pro­pel­ler.

Speak­ing to PBO af­ter com­plet­ing his chal­lenge on 6 Septem­ber, Bertoft said he felt ‘sat­is­fied’ with his achieve­ment and was now ‘hun­gry’ for more op­por­tu­ni­ties to get his fos­sil free sail­ing mes­sage across.

He said there were nu­mer­ous high­lights through­out the jour­ney, in­clud­ing meet­ing Volvo Ocean Race skip­per and ma­rine lit­ter cam­paigner, Dee Caf­fari, dur­ing a stopover in Gothen­berg, and sail­ing with his son, Jo­hannes, in 10.5 knots of wind to the Dan­ish is­land, Chris­tiansø. ‘It was a sail­ing blast that day,’ he noted.

Al­though he sailed some of the route solo, he was also joined by young en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists who helped him gather data on mi­croplas­tics in the ocean, wa­ter vis­i­bil­ity and sur­face wa­ter con­di­tions, for the Univer­sity of Gothen­burg.

‘The im­mense trust I felt from the young crewmem­bers made this project worth­while. By their pres­ence, en­ergy and thoughts, they proved the con­cept (of 100% re­new­able) over and over again,’ stated the 57-year-old Bertoft.

Bertoft be­lieves he has in­spired oth­ers, with sev­eral sailors con­tact­ing him with ques­tions about en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly cruis­ing and mak­ing the change from fos­sil fuel to elec­tric, some­thing which has made him ‘very proud and happy’.

He now has sev­eral talks about 100 Sun Wind Wa­ter planned for the au­tumn and is putting to­gether a doc­u­men­tary about the project.

He also hopes to find spon­sor­ship to re­peat the con­cept else­where in the world. Find out more about the project at 100sun­wind­wa­ter.com

Young en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists ac­com­pa­nied Bertoft for some of the trip

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