The Ocean Race

Our crew deployed an Argo float from Malizia – Seaexplorer during The Ocean Race 2023 in order to collect rare data from this remote part of the Ocean.

In partnership with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and OceanOPS, our Skipper Will Harris and Co-skipper Rosalin Kuiper deployed a scientific Argo float during The Ocean Race 2022-23 near Brazil (25°30′ S, 32°00′ W).

Will, who is skippering Leg 2 of The Ocean Race, replacing Boris Herrmann for this leg, commented: “I studied Oceanography at University and therefore having the opportunity to help scientists better understand the state and condition of our Ocean is really interesting for me. Boris and I deployed a surface drifter during the Transat Jacques Vabre 2019 and Boris also deployed an Argo float during the Vendée Globe 2020-21. It is really an honour to carry this and I believe that carrying this extra weight is worthwhile considering the benefit the data is providing to the scientific community and the climate operational centres.”

The Argo float, an autonomous profiling float weighing about 20 kg, has been deployed in a specific zone determined by scientists and their scientific needs. It will stay around this region for 4-5 years and will automatically send temperature, salinity and pressure data from the top 2,000 m of the Ocean back home every few days. The float was provided by the UK Argo programme.

Martin Kramp, Ship Coordinator at OceanOPS, commented: “We have been working with Boris Herrmann and Team Malizia for many years, it is great that teams like this are willing to help and contribute to scientific knowledge. These instruments are helping scientists to fill in critical observational gaps and collect crucial data in very remote areas. This partnership is very precious especially as these race vessels travel “off the beaten path” and are therefore able to deploy Argo floats in remote areas.

Like around 4000 others at the global scale, the Argo profiling float Team Malizia deployed will measure temperature, salinity and pressure profiles down to 2,000 m below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean during ten-day cycles. Every time the float surfaces, it will send the collected data to an international data centre where they are freely available for forecasters, climate researchers and other users. During Leg 3 of the race, the team will deploy two surface drifters in the Southern Ocean.

The Argo float was also signed by a school class in Alicante who attend the team’s My Ocean Challenge workshop and a group of students in Cape Verde who are studying marine sciences. The idea is to unite and excite the younger generation around science and ocean data.

Team Malizia also carries onboard the Ocean Pack, an automated laboratory, capable of measuring and transmitting valuable Ocean surface data like CO2 to their partners at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel (GEOMAR) and Ifremer. In 2020/21 Boris Herrmann collected the first-ever nonstop data lap of the world’s Ocean and also the most data collected by one vessel in a year. The team intends to continue this tradition by completing another lap of the world in data for The Ocean Race.

The team carries the message A Race We Must Win – Climate Action Now! on the sails of their 60-feet IMOCA race yacht with the mission to inspire ambitious climate action around the world. With their scientific programme the team can go a step further and really contribute to the understanding of our Ocean, the impact man made CO2 has on our Ocean, the interdependence of climate and Ocean and where the limits lie.

Team Malizia is strongly supported by its seven main partners: the Yacht Club de Monaco, EFG International, Zurich Group Germany, Kuehne+Nagel, and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd, and Schütz. These partners band behind Team Malizia to support its A Race We Must Win – Climate Action Now! mission, each of them working towards projects in their own field to innovate around climate solutions.

©JimmyHorel-Team Malizia