Extreme E’s ship prepares to set sail for opening race
18 February 2021, London: After a two year extensive refurbishment process, Extreme E’s floating centrepiece, the St. Helena, is now just hours away from setting sail for the championship’s inaugural race weekend, which takes place on 3-4 April in Saudi Arabia.
The moment was marked in Liverpool, UK by Extreme E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag who sprayed a celebratory bottle of Moët champagne, which had been specially personalised for the occasion, over the ship’s hull to toast the start of her new journey.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E, said: “Today I feel extremely proud. The departure of the St. Helena marks the start of her new voyage. Extreme E’s first season is now officially underway.
“This has been a massive project and she really is unrecognisable from when we purchased her back in 2018. She is unmistakably part of Extreme E with the exterior branding, and the internal refit looks incredible. One of my favourite features of the ship is the creation of a science laboratory, which replaces the original swimming pool, and I’m delighted that from Saudi Arabia we will have a variety of scientists on-board conducting oceanic research projects.
“I have always had a love for the ocean, which was inspired by documentaries featuring the French biologist, Jacques Cousteau. He made me dream because he had a boat, he had the Calypso, and my dream is that the St. Helena becomes the new Calypso of the 21st century.”
The ex-Royal Mail Ship which acted as the lifeline to the island of St. Helena, has been under Extreme E’s stewardship for more than two years and during this time has undergone an extensive multi-million euro renovation process, including a comprehensive mechanical overhaul as well as a full refurbishment of the interior alongside a fresh livery and branding.
Alejandro Agag continues: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the crew who have worked so hard on the St. Helena to prepare her for her new journey, and all the team at Cammell Laird port here in Liverpool – we wouldn’t be at this point without all their efforts.”
This week, the championship’s freight from teams and partners has been loaded onto the St. Helena. Items include its race fleet of electric vehicles (ODYSSEY 21) fitted with Continental tyres, Air Shelta tents which will form the team garages, the podium, the start gantry, TV and broadcast equipment, three machines from 3devo to turn plastic waste into the championship’s trophies, two custom BRIG Eagle 8 carbon black support boats, a hydrogen fuel cell for zero-emission car charging created in collaboration with AFC Energy, plus a variety of Bosch tools.
The approach to the refit was to significantly improve, whilst leaving as small an environmental footprint as possible. This was achieved by upcycling, and rather than scrapping and replacing, the interior was stripped and refurbished, producing a contemporary, modern appearance. In addition, the ship utilises low-energy LED lights, low-water consumption bathroom fittings and even chairs made from recycled plastic bottles collected from the Mediterranean. There is also a hydroponic system on board in the kitchens which will enable the Chef to grow the vessel’s own herbs and garnishes. She is now well and truly ready to begin a new life as the championship’s logistics hub.
Last year, Extreme E in cooperation with Enel Foundation, the championship’s Founding Scientific Partner, invited scientists to apply for space on the ship to conduct research connected to advancing climate science in its on board laboratory during the voyage. In total, seven projects managed by 14 scientists have been selected to join the voyage. The seven projects will each focus on a different area of ocean research, with full details to be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition, there are 62 cabins which can sleep up to 175 people, two lounges, an 80-seater restaurant, a 100-seater exterior deck, an 80-seater presentation area plus capacity to carry 90 20-foot shipping containers. A crew of 50 people will live and work on board the St. Helena over the course of her voyage.
Joining them will be Extreme E’s Impact Correspondent Izabela Rekiel, who is also an International DJ, environmental activist, Climate Reality Leader and Project Zero Ambassador. Izy will document life on the St. Helena through regular posts on her social media channels – @izyofficial.
Upon departing the UK, the St. Helena will sail through the Mediterranean to Saudi Arabia, where it is expected to arrive after 17 to 20 days. After Saudi Arabia, she will go back through the Mediterranean to Senegal, across to Greenland, down to the Amazon and then further south to the final destination of the season in Tierra del Fuego, Argentine Patagonia.
To learn more about Extreme E, visit – www.Extreme-E.com
About Extreme E:
Please visit the Extreme E media centre to access images, videos and press releases: https://www.extreme-e.com/en/mediacentre
Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVs competing in extreme environments around the world which have already been damaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race global voyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some of the world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.
To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open to spectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TV broadcast, and on social media.
The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone a multi-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into Extreme E’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’s freight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimising Extreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific research through its on-board laboratory.
Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enable its race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. This innovative solution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Not only will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will be water, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.
Season 1 Calendar:
Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia
3-4 April 2021
Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal
29-30 May 2021
Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
28-29 August 2021
Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil
23-24 October 2021
Glacier X Prix: Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
11-12 December 2021
About Continental Tyres: Founding Partner and Official Tyre Partner
Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation. In 2019, Continental generated sales of €44.5 billion and currently employs more than 230,000 people in 59 countries and markets.
The Tyres business area has 24 production and development locations worldwide. Continental is one of the leading tyre manufacturers with more than 56,000 employees and posted sales of €11.7 billion in 2019 in this business area. Continental ranks among the technology leaders in tyre production and offers a broad product range for passenger cars, commercial and special-purpose vehicles as well as two-wheelers. Through continuous investment in research and development, Continental makes a major contribution to safe, cost-effective and ecologically efficient mobility. The portfolio of the Tyres business area includes services for the tyre trade and fleet applications, as well as digital management systems for tyres.
About CBMM: Founding Supplier
CBMM is the world leading supplier of niobium products and technology. Headquartered in Brazil, with offices and subsidiaries in China, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.
CBMM offers technical innovation to customers around the globe through a team of over 2,000 highly trained, dedicated professionals providing cutting-edge niobium products and technology to over 400 clients in around 40 countries.
Defined by the Financial Times as “A haven for directional fashion,” LUISAVIAROMA.COM is the top online luxury fashion destination with 5,000,000 visitors per month and worldwide shipping. With each new season, the website presents the collections of more than 600 established designers and young emerging talents.
About Neat Burger: Official Plant-based Partner
Neat Burger is the first of its kind – the planet-friendly, plant-based, full-flavoured game-changer the world has been waiting for. The world’s first plant-based sustainable burger chain, Neat Burger offers a menu that appeals to not only those who follow plant-based diets, but anyone, meat-eaters included, who wants to eat delicious meat-free dishes that are more sustainable, healthier and ethical. The brand is backed by seven-time FIA Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton, in collaboration with hospitality organisation The Cream Group and investors, as well as UNICEF Ambassador and early backer of Beyond Meat Tommaso Chiabra. Neat Burger opened its first site in September 2019, just off Regent Street in London, and its second and third dine-in outlets at Camden Market and Soho in 2020. Plans for global expansion across Europe, the US and Middle East are already in place for 2021 and beyond.
About Enel Foundation: Founding Scientific Partner
Enel Foundation is non-profit organisation focusing on the crucial role of clean energy to ensure a sustainable future for all. By developing partnerships with pre-eminent experts and institution across the globe, leveraging on the vast knowledge of its founders, Enel Foundation conducts research to explore the implications of global challenges in the energy domain and offers education programs to the benefit of talents in the scientific, business and institutional realms.