The Ocean Cleanup project has successfully completed its crowd funding campaign. With the support of more than 38,000 funders from 160 countries, in 100 days more than US $2million has been raised.
The project, founded by 20-year-old Dutchman Boyan Slat when he was just 17, aims to clean the oceans of plastics using a system of long floating arms attached to the seabed, so that ‘the oceans can basically clean themselves.
Thanks to the successful funding campaign, the next step, which comprises the construction and testing of large-scale operational pilots, can now be initiated.
The Ocean Cleanup will now assemble a new team to lead the research, and plans to start the pilot phase next month. The team projects the first pilot will hit the ocean within a year.
A series of up-scaling tests will ultimately result in a fully operational offshore cleanup array by 2017.
Crowd funding record-breaker
Boyan Slat, CEO of The Ocean Cleanup Foundation, said: ‘Plastic pollution has been recognised by the UN as one of the major environmental challenges facing mankind in the 21st century.
“The crowd funding received so far enables us to start the Pilot Phase, in which we push the concept from feasible to executable. ‘Hence, we are very grateful to all of whom have supported us worldwide, all crowd funding and professional in kind contributors, as well as the many volunteers and ambassadors who invested their enthusiasm, and gave us the confidence to keep going.
In June this year, Boyan Slat presented The Ocean Cleanup’s feasibility study – a 530-page report, authored by 70 scientists and engineers – proposing a viable method to clean half of the so-called ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ within 10 years’ time.
At the same time, a crowd funding campaign was launched, aiming to collect $2million within 100 days. The target had been achieved in 98 days.After completion, US $2,154,282 had been raised via 38,615 donors, making it ‘the most successful non-profit crowd funding campaign in history’, according to crowd funding platform ABN AMRO’s SEEDS, who facilitated the campaign.
Bart’s Bash, the Guinness World Record attempt for the Largest Sailing Race in the World, will take place globally between 0.00 and 23.59 GMT this Sunday 21 September 2014.
The inaugural fundraising event, on 21 September 2014, is being organised by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.
It looks set to break the world record for the Largest Sailing Race (24 hours) with 13,247 sailors, from 748 clubs across 65 countries already signed up online at bartsbash.co.uk.
So far the event has raised £102,084.90 for the charity, which aims to inspire young people into the sport of sailing.
Registration for Bart’s Bash will remain open until the day of the event. To find out which clubs are taking part in your country, click here.
The aim of Bart’s Bash is to remember Britain’s Olympic gold and silver medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, who tragically died during an America’s Cup training accident in May 2013.
All the funds raised through Bart’s Bash will support the development and delivery of the Foundation’s charitable programmes internationally.
These programmes have Bart’s and the Olympic values at their heart, and are currently being developed and tested at the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre. Pilot programmes are also being tested in Bermuda and South Africa.
Big name participants include Sir Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy OBE, Paul Goodison MBE, Jimmy Spithill, Nathan Outteridge, Max Sirena plus many other Olympians and world sailing stars.
So far 471 sailing clubs have signed up to take part across the UK, including the new Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, based at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
Each sailing club will sail an individual Bart’s Bash race at their location (with certain requirements to meet the world record criteria).
At the Weymouth and Portland venue, the first race will begin at 11am, with Olympic gold medallists Iain Percy and Paul Goodison competing alongside local clubs and sailors. Iain will be racing with Andrew Simpson’s young son Freddie.
The event will include a youth race, a prize giving ceremony at 4.30pm, plus a Pico Challenge – open to anyone, children’s entertainments, a barbecue and bar.
Sir Ben Ainslie will be competing at Queen Mary Sailing Club, Queen Mary Reservoir from 11am, while in Gosport at the Clipper Race Yacht Club, nine of the 12 Clipper Race fleet will compete with sailing stars including Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. The event will coincide with the fifth annual Red Socks regatta in memory of Colin de Mowbray.
At the PSP Southampton Boat Show, a Bart’s Bash Race will take place at 1pm, with competitors launching from the Southampton Water Activities Centre and competing on a course laid just off the boat show marina.
Elsewhere across the globe, 14 clubs have signed up to compete in Spain including the ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, as have 19 Italian clubs, 39 clubs across the USA, 23 Australian clubs, 20 South African clubs, nine from the Netherlands, eight across Ireland, nine in Canada, six in Sweden, five in Argentina, Germand and China and four in New Zealand.