Francis Joyon, skipper of the IDEC SPORT maxi-trimaran, who will be setting sail on 4th November at the start of the Route du Rhum, has responded enthusiastically to Catherine Chabaud’s request for support for the appeal for the ocean to be considered as a common good of mankind. This is an international campaign to make people aware of the high seas, which are threatened by all sorts of pollution caused by humans. This appeal targets civil society, the world of politics and the general public.
As someone who has travelled a lot and is curious and passionate about marine life, Francis has for a long time been worried about the depletion and deterioration of the marine environment in which he spends so much time. This appeal is for him a major first step not only to make as many people as possible aware of the damage that is being done, but to encourage us to enter a new active and constructive era aimed at limiting the impact of human activities on the marine environment. “I will never forget that sickening image that I saw during one of my voyages of a basking shark dragging a length of rope wound around its tail. This rare species is protected and yet, this magnificent creature was the victim of a human predator,” explained Francis Joyon, who is deeply concerned about the future of our planet. “When I crossed the China Sea aboard my trimaran a few years ago, I found myself slowed right down by a floating island of plastic waste. It took me more than twelve hours to get through that.” When racing, as when he is on trips with his family, Francis Joyon shows the greatest respect to the sea, fitting his boat out for many years now with non fossil fuel systems, wind turbines, hydrogenerators, solar panels or fuel cells. “In Brittany, or wherever I am in the world, I enjoy diving, simply wearing a mask and snorkel, and I’m sad to see that with each dive, life is disappearing from our rocks or around the coral, which used to be so full of life, light and colours. It’s a bit like going for a walk in a forest, which used to be so green and finding yourself strolling in amongst burnt tree trunks.”
As stressed in the OCEAN AS COMMON appeal, which is now being taken up by many skippers and ocean racers, the ocean is a treasure and the future of mankind. “It is time to set limits to the destruction caused by man beyond our territorial waters,” insists Francis. “I’m pleased to be one of the ambassadors for this appeal, making the most of my meagre ability as someone in the spotlight. I admire those men who are capable of throwing themselves in front of the whale hunters, who are breaching international agreements. In any case, I would like to offer my support to this movement to defend the oceans.”