by Ilio Masprone-Publisher-Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merits
MONACO. Yesterday night I was watching the Italian RAI TV 1 latest news. One of them was about the arrival in the bay of New York of Greta Thunberg to take part in the United Nations Climate Action Summit. I had just given my small contribute to that fact publishing on our paper Montecarlotimes-Les Nouvelles in Italian and French that the girl, a symbol of the battle against climate change, was crossing the Atlantic on board of the zero-emissions Monegasque racing sailboat Malizia II. With some proud I was expecting the Italian commentator say something about «how » and especially «who» had enabled Greta to take her message across the Atlantic. Not a single word. The Italian broadcasting was totally disregarding the fact that this extraordinary adventure had taken place on a Monegasque boat. I like to repeat: a totally zero-emission vehicle. As a journalist, I was asking myself why the offer of the Yacht Club de Monaco Vice-President Pierre Casiraghi, which made the racing sailboat IMOCA 60 Malizia II available for the 3,000 nautical mile crossing, was so patently ignored. Well, the mystery remains that perhaps someone in RAI does not like to speak of Monte Carlo… so I am trying to right the wrong reporting the story of the boat crossing, and praising the work done by that extraordinary boat. After 14 days at sea, the IMOCA crew of Pierre Casiraghi, son of H.R.H Carolina di Monaco, and the German skipper Boris Hermann sailed up the Hudson River, tired but lighten up up by the satisfaction of a job well done. The 3,711 nautical mile trip was completed from Plymouth via the Cornish coast to the Ambrose lighthouse.
The boat, designed for racing, faced complex weather conditions but Malizia demonstrated her potential, reaching speeds up to 30 knots. “I am full of praise for Greta’s courage and determination; her attitude on board Malizia II was exemplary despite the extreme living conditions. I would like to thank everyone in the Malizia team and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation It was a very emotional moment sailing past the Statue of Liberty, and I thank everyone for all the support we received during this amazing adventure crossing the Atlantic,” said Pierre Casiraghi, on his arrival in New York. The entire transatlantic crossing has been under sail, the engine not being used at all, in line with Greta’s as well as the Malizia Team’s message of sustainability and environmental protection. “Just at the start and finish, we had Torqeedo RIBs powered by electric engines to assist us during docking manoeuvres as well as to tow Malizia out of and back into port. The engine on Malizia II had eden officially sealed before we set off. Although the engine stayed turned off, it was ready to use at any moment in the event of an emergency, in compliance with the IMOCA Class Rule. Safety of crew and boat is always a priority for us,” explained Boris Herrmann. Malizia is equipped with a state-of-the-art solar system of 1.3kW and two hydro-generators which are permanently installed on the stern of the boat and were specifically designed for IMOCA 60 racing yachts. “With these two independent systems working, we generate more electricity than we actually need. The two energy sources allow us to run all the systems and electronics on board continuously – navigation instruments, autopilots, water-makers, as well as our SubCtech Ocean laboratory. So we are proud to have had the opportunity to bring Greta across the Atlantic emission-free and safely. Her mission to highlight the climate change crisis is very much in line with the Malizia Ocean Challenge where we work with scientists and are actively involved with educating young people. The mood was very good on board all the time and nobody felt really seasick. Greta as a non-sailor before this trip kept up very well in all conditions and I would say she’s quite an offshore sailor now. We had some very constructive and interesting discussions, all five crew together, often about the oceans and their role as a CO2 sink, as well as on other topics about nature and the climate. I wish Greta all the best for her actions, strikes and speeches in America.” said Boris Herrmann. The young Swedish girl was accompanied by her father Svante Thunberg and filmmaker Nathan Grossman. She will take part in the United Nations Climate Action Summit organised by UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, in New York on 23rd September.