Britain’s Dee Caffari will lead ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ – a mixed, youth-focused team with a strong sustainability message in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. Her campaign, already backed by the Mirpuri Foundation and Ocean Family Foundation, is dedicated to the issue of ocean health.
The sixth confirmed team out of a possible eight for the upcoming edition will amplify United Nations Environment’s ‘Clean Seas: Turn the Tide on Plastic’ campaign throughout the eight months of the race, which covers 45,000 nautical miles of racing around the world, taking in 12 Host Cities on six continents.
Caffari’s ambition is to build a multi-national, 50/50 male-female squad, with the majority under 30 years of age. As part of the sustainability focus, the messages around diversity in age and gender will be strong themes of a campaign that in sporting terms may not start as a favourite, but could easily surprise on the water.
“I’m absolutely delighted to get the opportunity to sail for a cause I am so passionate about,” said Caffari. “The Volvo Ocean Race is the ultimate test of a team in sport, and with the ambition to race with a youth-orientated international mixed crew, we are looking to make an impact on and off the water.”
Caffari’s team is already part-funded by the Mirpuri Foundation and Ocean Family Foundation (OFF), who join an increasing number of partners backing Volvo Ocean Race’s campaign on ocean health and sustainability.
The Mirpuri Foundation is a non-profit organisation set up by Portuguese businessman and philanthropist Paulo Mirpuri with the aim of making the world a better place for future generations.
In addition to raising awareness around the growing issue of ocean pollution, the partnership is part of the Mirpuri Foundation’s long-term ambition to build a new chapter in Portugal’s rich maritime history by creating a strong offshore legacy for future generations of Portuguese sailors. Caffari will include two Portuguese sailors on the team with a view to building a full Portuguese team in future editions of the iconic race.
“We feel immense pride to be backing this incredible ocean health campaign which we are sure will provide a great contribution to the health of our wonderful blue planet,” said Mirpuri.
Alongside the Mirpuri Foundation, the aim of the Ocean Family Foundation is to promote awareness of the effects of pollution, the importance of biodiversity and the necessity for conservation of the world’s oceans.
“The Ocean Family Foundation is delighted to be supporting this exceptional campaign to support ocean conservation and clean-up,” said Peter Dubens, on behalf of the Ocean Family Foundation.
“Plastic pollution has emerged as one of the greatest challenges facing our globe, with plastic debris forecast to double over this decade, causing huge damage to our oceans as well as to humans.
“With her public profile as a British world record-holding athlete, Dee Caffari is the perfect leader to raise awareness of the need for urgent action.”