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The sustainable sports management company OceansLab has informed Bunkerspot that its new hydrogen fuel cell powered yacht is currently under construction at Black Pepper Yachts and is due to be launched this summer.

The 60 foot foiling vessel will be competing in the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) Global Series, starting with the Transat Jacques Vabre in the autumn, followed by a return qualifying race for the Vendee Globe 2024.

In a notice sent to Bunkerspot today (24 January), OceansLab said that the vessel will be the first IMOCA yacht to exclusively use hydrogen fuel cell technology. The yacht’s zero-emission system will power all onboard energy, in addition to propulsion outside of the races.

Phil Sharp, skipper of IMOCA OceansLab, commented: ‘IMOCA race boats area the most innovative and extreme of ocean-going vessels. They are an ideal platform to showcase vital clean technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cells, and prove their durability in the harshest of ocean environments.’

Sharp added: ‘Replacing fossil fuel power with renewable energy solutions is an important step not only for our sport, but entire maritime sector. Ultimately, I am sailing to win race, while also proving that using the latest clean technologies, this can be done with zero emissions.’

The OceansLab skipper concluded: ‘In order to meet climate change targets we need to start developing zero emissions vessels across the entire maritime sector, today. This campaign will be an important benchmark in demonstrating that practical hydrogen solutions now exist that are ready to be embraced at scale.’

Click here to access an article from the August/September 2020 issue of the Bunkerspot magazine, in which Phil Sharp explains how OceansLab is using the world of competitive sailing as a proving ground for new technologies.

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