The happy faces of the winners of the ocean tribute Award shone even more brightly than the highly polished yachts in the luxury yacht hall at boot Düsseldorf. Celebrities and industry players from the water sports community met for BLUE MOTION NIGHT on Monday evening.
Since last year, this event has focussed entirely on sustainability as well as on interdisciplinary and international co-operation on ocean and water protection. Together with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, boot Düsseldorf and the German Ocean Foundation presented the ocean tribute Award to particularly ambitious and forward-looking projects in the categories industry, science and society. Messe Düsseldorf CEO Werner Matthias Dornscheidt was so enthusiastic about the commitment shown by the participants and the ideas they submitted that he spontaneously increased the prize money for the winners from € 1,500 to € 3,000 per category.
The first Award of the evening went to Friedrich J. Deimann for the development of “Green Boats” in the industry category. In his congratulatory speech, Messe Düsseldorf CEO Werner Matthias Dornscheidt emphasised the particularly impressive innovative skills demonstrated by the company from Bremen. The aim of “Green Boats” is to create an alternative to conventional plastic yachts, plastic surfboards and other plastic products with the help of modern, sustainable materials.
Sustainable flax fibres are used instead of fibreglass, while “Green Boats” incorporate resins based on linseed oil rather than mineral oil-based polyester resins. The young company opts for cork or paper honeycombs when sandwich materials are needed. As a result, “Green Boats” reduce CO2 emissions by at least 80% in the production of water sports articles by comparison with companies that manufacture conventionally. Dornscheidt and the CEO of the sponsor Seabob, Hans-Peter Walpurgis, presented the winner’s cheque to Deimann.
Frank Schweikert, Executive Director of the German Ocean Foundation, stressed the international networking capabilities of the Ocean Foundation. Through its International Ocean Acidification Initiative, the prizewinner in the science category aims to create a network of scientists, in order to monitor and understand ocean chemistry developments and to report to the Ocean Foundation. Schweikert and legendary windsurfer Robby Naish presented the Award to Alexis Valauri-Orton, the representative of the Ocean Foundation. Together with its partners, the organisation based in Washington has developed starter kits for monitoring ocean acidification. These laboratory and field kits, also known as “GOA-ON” (The Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network), are able to make high-quality measurements for a tenth of the costs of existing measuring systems. In the context of its project, the Ocean Foundation has trained over 40 scientists and resource managers in 19 different countries and has supplied GOA-ON kits to 10 separate countries.
The actor Sigmar Solbach spoke in the presentation of the Award in the society category to the Dutch company Fairtransport. This transport company from Den Helder would like to make fair trade even cleaner and fairer. Instead of importing fair trade products via conventional channels, the company brings selected products to Europe on sailing ships. The aim is to establish a green trading network of fair products. Two traditional old sailing ships are being used for transport purposes at the moment. The “Tres Hombres” travels an annual route between Europe, all the islands in the North Atlantic, the Caribbean and the American continent. The “Nordlys” is deployed in European coastal trade, the North Sea and Greater Europe. Fairtransport is working on replacement of the two cargo sailing ships by modern sail-based merchant vessels. The Dutch company is the first emission-free transport company anywhere in the world. Solbach and the representative of the Principality of Monaco, Honorary Consul Dr Bernd Kunth, presented the Fairtransport Award to Andreas Lackner, the captain of the ships.
Soon the season will start again. And whether you're motoring or sailing, probably the second-best thing about a holiday is sitting on deck in the evening with a glass of good wine or cold beer in hand and, most of all, enjoying a delicious dinner and the feeling of freedom.