Friday, May 11, 2018

Yachts for Science

By Karen Robes Meeks

Sports and science have come together in Seattle, Wash., where the Clipper 2017–18 Round the World Yacht Race departed “for the penultimate leg of its 40,000-nm circumnavigation of the planet.”

Race officials are working with the Port of Seattle, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Washington, Sunburst Sensors and Visit Seattle to bring awareness to the NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, which looks at how ocean chemistry changes with increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

One of the race’s 70-foot yachts, Visit Seattle, carries a special sensor monitoring those effects.

“This collaboration presents a unique opportunity for all involved to use a sport we love to research a subject we all care deeply about, our oceans,” said Clipper Race Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who became the first person to sail nonstop around the world by himself nearly 50 years ago.

The US Coast to Coast Leg is the seventh of eight segments in the race. The teams, which left Bell Harbor Marina in the Port of Seattle April 29, are traveling through the Panama Canal and are expected to arrive in New York between June 14–16.