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Sustainability is education

  • The solid multidisciplinary formation of the skippers makes a two crew round-the-world trip like the Barcelona World Race possible.
  • Climatology, meteorology, medicine and engineering are essential in single-handed and two-crew sailing.
  • Organisation aboard an IMOCA 60 shows an analogy with the projects of the We Are Water Foundation which takes water and sanitation to deprived areas with the aim of sustainability.

Later, when sailing, meteorology becomes a central question of life on board. Yachtsmen must have, firstly, deep theoretical knowledge that enables them to understand and forecast the evolution of the meteorological systems that they encounter along the way; but later they must act in consequence, appropriately interpreting the signs of the sophisticated computer programmes that make up the meteorological data with the specifications of speed of their boat. This means knowing how to handle the communication systems via satellite, the navigational software and electronics on board.

If the electronics cannot fail – and the circuits and connections have many adverse factors in a constantly humid atmosphere, as well as being threatened by saltpetre – neither can the electricity. In their sailing routine, Bruno and Willy check the state of the batteries every day and test how consumption and charging is going. This is when the forecast for the charge from the hydro-generators comes into play, the source of clean energy that all the boats in the Barcelona World Race have and which enables them to do without the engine-alternator to the maximum.

The yachtsmen of the Barcelona World Race also have to be able to repair the majority of the breakdowns that continually occur when sailing. This means they must know about electricity, mechanics and chemistry. The must be capable of repairing a water purifier (see the newsletter), or an alternator, as well as stick a torn sail or laminate with polyester resin an imperfection in the hull.

They must also have a good knowledge of medicine, know how to act quickly in case of a personal accident on board and diagnose an illness. These actions on the We Are Water are ensured by Bruno García, cardiologist by profession, but for the other skippers this knowledge is essential, as well as knowing how to establish a tele-medical consultation and use the Medicine at Distance Guide they have on board.

In contrast to the regattas with crew, which is made up of a team of specialists, in single-handed or two-crew sailing a high level of multidisciplinary training is essential, so that each yachtsman must literally “know how to do everything and do it well”.

Bruno and Willy show us each day on the We Are Water that their model is applicable to any project however complex the application of the solutions may be. With education and training wells can emerge from the desert, woods be regenerated and water collected in time for the dry season. They can avoid illnesses, empower women and slow down undignified migratory processes. The training that makes Bruno and Willy free to sail around the world also makes free and dignified those who need water and sanitation.

Remember that you can follow the Argo buoy that Bruno and Willy García launched at the We Are Water buoy page.

The We Are Water has left behind the southern latitudes and is sailing in the Atlantic. In fourth place, Bruno and Willy are about 3,800 miles from the finishing line. The message is still going around the world (go to the meridians page).

About the We Are Water Foundation

The We Are Water Foundation, promoted by the Roca company, has as objectives, on the one hand, to raise awareness amongst the general public and the administrations about the need to promote a new culture of water and, on the other hand, relieve the negative effects related to the lack of hydric resources, through the development of cooperation and aid programmes alongside diverse organisations such as Education without Frontiers, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, Intermón Oxfam and UNICEF.