When legendary round-the-world yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston fired a canon to signal the start of the 2018 Golden Globe Race (GGR) on 1st July, Nabil Amra set sail relying on power generated by Solar Technology International.
Nabil’s yacht is equipped with eight 20w PV Logic solar panels supplied by Solar Technology and joint sponsors and distributors SMG Europe.
The panels were installed by the Falmouth Boat Company, who have spent the last few months preparing the yacht for the epic journey to generate power for the limited on-board systems Nabil is able to use.
One of 18 sailors to make it to the start line of the Golden Globe Race from Sables d’Olonne, Nabil will be helping to recreate the golden age of sailing. He and his fellow skippers will be navigating their way around the globe, just as Knox-Johnston and rival Moitessier did in 1968, using sextants, paper charts wind-up chronometers and a weather eye on their barometers.
Nabil is an American born Palestinian who works as a foreign exchange trader in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He bought Elle May, a ketch rigged version of the Biscay 36 class yacht built by the Falmouth Boat Company. He returned her to the builder to have her prepared for the GGR and renamed her Liberty II.
Biggest challenges of my life
Nabil said: “The race is one of the biggest challenges of my life and that’s what makes it so exciting. A key condition is that we can’t use modern technology or satellite navigation aids. Having solar panels on board will mean I can use the natural world to power the instruments I am able to use.
“When we got the panels on we noticed that they were generating great power with the boat still inside the board yard shed!
“I am really grateful to Solar Technology International for their supporting in helping me to get Liberty II to the start line.
“The Golden Globe Race came along at just the right time to turn an incessant daydream into reality. My eagerness is to sail under the Palestinian flag and to represent these forlorn people who have had little to be cheery about for a long time.”
Solar power is an increasingly popular choice for boat owners
Jeremy Usher, Marine Sales Manager for Solar Technology International said: “We are delighted to join with our distributors SMG Europe and support Nabil on this most epic of voyages.
“Solar power is becoming an increasingly popular choice for sailors who want to generate clean, efficient energy on board their boats and Nabil will be able to put the panels to the ultimate test. Being salt spray test for 1000 hours, the super robust panels benefit from the latest crystalline silicon technology and will have no trouble coping with whatever conditions the sailors have to face.
“We wish Nabil all the best and we’ll be watching his progress with great interest!”
As a mark of Solar Technology International’s growing business success in the boating and yachting sector, the company has joined British Marine.
In becoming a member of the industry federation, Solar Technology will be part of a network of more than 1600 companies from the leisure marine, superyacht and small commercial marine sectors..
Every year British Marine organises the world-famous Southampton Boat Show. In addition, the organisation’s expertise spans in-depth technical services, representation with government and non-governmental bodies, UK and global marine trade development, legal services and general business advice.
“The marine industry is a dynamic, forward thinking sector that never stands still,” said Jeremy Usher, UK Marine Sales Manager for Solar Technology International. “British Marine plays a very active and progressive role and offers a lot of benefits for members so I am keen that we can benefit from that as renewable energy becomes a more important focus in the sector.
“Plus British Marine organises the biggest show in the industry with Southampton and our membership will open up opportunities overseas as well."
Recently described by Radio 2 as Britain’s favourite lunatic, endurance athlete and Solar Technology Ambassador Sean Conway has done it! He has set a new world record for the fastest, unsupported crossing of Europe by bicycle. Sean has broken the world record by 9 hours after cycling 3,980 miles (6,405 kilometres) in 24 days, 18 hours and 39 minutes. Sean cycled across Europe starting from Cabo da Roca on the west coast of Portugal and finished in Ufa in Russia. Sean arrived in Ufa at 15.40 local time.
Sean takes the title from Jonas Deichmann who cycled 6,450km 25 days, 3 hours and 38 minutes in July last year. At the time, this was 5 days faster than the Guinness World Record holder, James McLaren who cycled from Ufa to Cabo da Roca in 29 days, 18 hours and 25 minutes.
This is Sean’s second attempt at the world record. In August 2017 Sean was making exceptional progress covering 800 miles in 4 days when he sustained an injury forcing him to withdraw. This time around, passing through the point in the Pyrenees where he withdrew last year was his highest moment emotionally.
In 24 days, Sean has cycled across nine countries (Portugal, Spain, France, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine and Russia). Travelling unsupported at all times, Sean has cycled for 16 hours a day, slept rough on 19 occasions and showered just 4 times. Madness may have set in when in Portugal, he picked up a hitchhiker he named Pedro. The animal skull travelled with him all the way to the finish line. Arguably an odd decision when he travelled without a tent and cut off the end of his toothbrush just to save weight. A key piece of his equiipment was a Freeloader SiXER solar battery charger to power his phone and navigation equipment.
Sean said, “After 6 years, 3 failed attempts and 60,000 miles, I have finally achieved a cycling world record!”
Sean Conway: Born in Gloucester and now living in Cumbria, Sean is not new to challenges like this. In 2015, he became the first and only man in history to cycle, swim and run the length of Britain. In 2016 he completed a 4,000-mile ultra-triathlon, which circumnavigated the entire coast of Britain.
The Solar Technology International team enjoyed a very productive time during our first visit to the Palma International Boatshow!
We are delighted to announce a new distributor relationship with E Touch Control Systems / IMP (Majorca) to handle sales throughout the Balearic islands and East Coast of Spain.
Jeremy Usher, Marine Sales Manager for Solar Technology International said: “Palma was a very busy show for us and there proved to be a lot of interest in our flexi solar panels, Hubi solar charger as well as solar powered Arena Lights. The latter are ideal for illuminating areas around the water’s edge, boat yards or ports without access to mains electricity as well as in the equestrian sector for stable yards and riding arenas.”
Epic adventurer and Freeloader Sixer ambassador Sean Conway is off! He is on his mission to become the fastest man to cross Europe by bicycle.
He started from Cabo de Roca on the west coast of Portugal yesterday (Monday 16th April) and he is now attempting to cycle 4,500 miles across Europe finishing in Ufa in Russia in less than 25 days. The attempt will be unsupported meaning Sean will be carrying all of his own kit with him along the way, including his Freeloader Sixer solar battery pack to charge his dynamo spot tracker, spare AAA batteries and iphone for navigation and calls.
To put this distance into perspective, it is over double the distance ridden at the Tour de France (2,200 miles) in roughly the same amount of time (Le Tour was over 23 days).
The current record stands at 29 days, 18 hours and 25 minutes. Sean is looking to knock over 4 days off the record. In order to do this, he will need to cycle roughly 180 miles a day, every day.
Sean first tried breaking the record last year but had to give up through injury. Speaking about his 2018 world record attempt Sean said:
“It was a big decision to come back and give this record another go. I think too often people feel that if they don’t succeed with something then they have to give up. We are so used to hearing about success stories, what is often missed off is how many attempts they took to get there in the first place.
“I admit, I got things wrong on my last attempt of this record. My self-esteem was really low at the end of last summer when I had to withdraw but I picked myself up and thought long and hard about whether I should give this another go – what if I didn’t succeed again? Life is not all about winning and breaking records, it is about giving things the very best shot that you can, and being confident that you could not have done any more. That said, I’m determined to break this world record and I’ve been putting in a lot of work to help me achieve my goal.”
“I also hope to try to use this journey to encourage more people to not only embrace an active lifestyle but to consider travel by bicycle as it is just the best way to see the world. I’ve completed a world first and a world’s furthest but this is my first shot at a world’s fastest record and I can’t wait to get going.”
Yellow Jersey, the cycle insurance provider, is providing Sean with insurance for his world record and are hosting his live tracker.
A bit about Sean Conway…
Born in Gloucester and now living in Cumbria, Sean is not new to challenges like this. In 2015, he became the first and only man in history to cycle, swim and run the length of Britain. In 2016 he completed a 4,000-mile ultra-triathlon, which circumnavigated the entire coast of Britain. Through challenges like this, Sean is always looking to encourage more people to get outdoors and enjoy a more active lifestyle, especially one on two wheels.
Follow Sean on social media via Instagram (seanconwayadventure), Twitter (@Conway_Sean) and Facebook (@MrSeanConway).