Irene sails off Plymouth destined for Rio in advance of the Earth Summit Irene sails off Plymouth destined for Rio in advance of the Earth Summit


The 35-meter ketch Irene of Bridgwater is ready to set sail from Plymouth to Brest, Vigo then across the Atlantic ocean to Brazil, returning via the Caribbean to the UK. The departure date is scheduled on the 14th February. Irene, a West Country trading ketch built in Bridgwater is currently docked in Plymouth and will depart from the Mayflower steps in the Barbican.


Following the success of the “first sail-shipping operation to the post-oil age” with the Tres Hombres in October 2011 in Brixham, Irene joins TOWT’s growing British-French trade of the organic Avocet ale, highly regarded by French Distributors.


Irene is also offering to ship cargo from her ports of call in Europe to Rio de Janeiro; an excellent opportunity given the Rio+20 Earth Summit is in June 2012. For example, stakeholders or exporters could send their promotional material and goods to be showcased at the summit. Thanks to Irene, there is an option to ship freight CO2-free. Thus taking a highly creative step to protect the environment by dramatically reducing the carbon impact of their participation at the Earth Summit.


Those interested should contact TOWT as soon as possible. More generally, anyone willing to ship cargo by sail, at a competitive price with positive action for the environment, is invited to contact us immediately.


Irene will be carrying olive oil to Brazil from Vigo and returning with Brazilian and Caribbean specialties to Europe.


Irene and her crew are raising public awareness on clean shipping and are sharing a transitional vision of classical shipping as a way to protect our future and promote investment in modern tall ships. By promoting sail-transported products and reducing the carbon footprint as a result, we are all actively looking after future generations.


Guillaume Le Grand, CEO of TOWT, says: “Sail shipping has been shown to have positive effects on the environment, and it has a great economic potential. Irene is just one of several projects lowering the carbon emissions of shipping cargo around the world.”


“How will shipping undergo the energy transition? Will we still be able to find curry, coffee or chocolate in our local shops in a world without oil?” are some key questions TOWT, Irene and her New dawn Traders are raising, in a  positive way.


TransOceanic Wind Transport and FairTransport promote the revival of sail powered shipping. Irene, like the Tres Hombres, is the symbol of this revival. She constitutes a first step that garners positive energy and proves transoceanic sail-shipping is feasible today.


Details of the initiative
Joined documents