Phil Sharp, the British former world champion in the 40 class, has set himself the goal of participating in the 2024 Vendée Globe with a totally sustainable, zero-emissions boat. To this end, he has commissioned the construction of an IMOCA boat, to be built by Black Pepper, whose onboard power will be supplied by a hydrogen fuel cell.
The construction of this vessel is based on the reuse and reworking of old molds. Many of the parts that make up the IMOCA will be manufactured with materials of biological origin. On the other hand, the energy on board, as can be intuited in the title of the news, will be supplied exclusively by a hydrogen fuel cell. This fuel cell is an innovation from Genevos' Hydrogen Power Module, of which Philippe Sharp is one of the co-founders.
The intention of this IMOCA boat is that it can compete in the IMOCA Global Series, firstly in the Transat Jacques Vabre, and then in the return race. This will serve to practice and test the boat's ability for when the time comes for the Vendée Globe 2024, which is Philip Sharp's main and primary objective. If all is satisfactory, this boat will continue to compete for other renowned regattas such as the Route du Rhum 2026 and The Ocean Race 2027.
If all the deadlines and objectives we have mentioned are met, the IMOCA of Ocean's Lab (a sustainable sports management company) would be the first boat with electric propulsion by hydrogen to participate in a nautical competition. This type of technology has already been seen in yachts or recreational boats, but never in a regatta.
A giant step that can serve as inspiration for many other manufacturers and thus continue to promote the care of the environment with this zero-emission energy system.