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The Geneva-based non-for-profit Fondation Pacifique invites the media to the press conference organized at Royal Cape Yacht Club, Cape Town, South Africa, on Tuesday 18 December at 10am on the occasion of the arrival of Swiss sailboat Fleur de Passion as part of The Ocean Mapping Expedition.

Arriving from Durban and before heading back to Seville, Spain, therefore completing a 4 and a half year journey around the world in the wake of Portuguese navigator Magellan, the 33m-long and biggest sailboat under Swiss flag Fleur de Passion will stop in Cape Town from December 15th 2018 to February 15th 2019, first at Royal Cape Yacht Club then at V&A Waterfront.

With the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa and Consulate General in Cape Town, the crew of The Ocean Mapping Expedition will present the spirit and achievements of this unique multidisciplinary project that speaks volume for how the civil society of a landlocked country can mobilize for the oceans.

It will share initial results of the scientific programs on micro-plastic and noise pollution, coral bleaching and monitoring greenhouse gases (methane and carbon dioxyde) on the surface of the oceans, including unexpected findings on the role of the Indian Ocean as a sink for methane. It will also detail the wide range of outreach and educational activities at V&A Waterfront in January.

VENUE:     The Royal Cape Yacht Club, Table Bay Harbor, Cape Town, 8000

TIME:         10am

CONTACT: Samuel Gardaz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +41 76 563 65 43 (+27 82 526 84 63 from 11 Dec 2018) or Anja Medau, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +27 63 639 2607

The stopover of Fleur de Passion in the State City from 13 March 2018 and the spirit to The Ocean Mapping Expedition aren’t unnoticed, and even far from it. A press conference was organized the day after the arrival at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club in the presence of two of the scientific partners of the expedition as well as the Deputy Vice Chancellor of James Cook University, one of the supporters of the stopover with the Swiss embassy. And it triggered a pretty attendance and coverage from both local and international media. Below are the links to some first of these articles:

James Cook University press release
Polytechnic University of Catalunia

Swiss national television (in Italian)

Swiss national television (in German)

The Straits Times (for Premium subscribers only)

The Straits Times article in the Fullerton hotel magazine

AFP Youtube Video

AFP Facebook Post

World News

La Vanguardia, Barcelona (Spain)

El Periodico (Spain)


La Razon

The Geneva-based Fondation Pacifique invites the local and international media in Singapore to a press conference on 14 March 2018 at 10am at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club on the occasion of the arrival in Singapore of the 33m-long ketch Fleur de Passion as part of The Ocean Mapping Expedition.

This unique 4-year journey (2015-2019) around the world from Seville to Seville combines science, education and culture to map the human impact on the oceans and raise awareness about sustainable development issues in the wake of Magellan, she 500 years after the first ever circumnavigation.

Coming from Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines, the 33m-long and tallest sailboat under Swiss flag Fleur de Passion (« Flower of Passion »), a former WWII German minesweeper turned into a sailing boat, will stop in Singapore from 13 to 25 March 2018 before heading further towards Jakarta, Madagascar, Mozambique and South Africa where she is expected to arrive in Durban then Cape Town by the end of the year.

On this occasion, initial results of the newly launched and pioneering Winds of Change scientific program consisting in monitoring greenhouse gases on the surface of the oceans in order to better understand their role in the issue of global warming will be released. Additional results from the 20,000 sounds under the seas program on noise pollution carried out since the departure of the expedition will also be shared. With the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Singapore and James Cook University, the stopover of Fleur de Passion at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club will also include public events and outreach activities echoing the goals of the expedition.

The press conference will be held in the presence of:

  • Pietro Godenzi (Switzerland), President and skipper, Fondation Pacifique

  • Samuel Gardaz (Switzerland), Vice-President for corporate affairs, Fondation Pacifique

  • Dr Daniel McGinnis (United States), Department of Aquatic Physics, University of Geneva, partner of the expedition and responsible for The Winds of Change program

  • Dr Michel André (France, Spain), Director of the Laboratory of Bioacoustic Applications, Technical University of Catalonia, Barcelona, and partner of the expedition and responsible for the 20,000 sounds under the seas program

  • Dr Dale Anderson (Australia), Deputy Vice Chancellor and Head of Campus, Singapore, James Cook University

The press conference will be followed by a visit and lunch on board Fleur de Passion.

VENUE:     Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, 52 West Coast Ferry Road

TIME:         10am

RSVP:        by Friday 9 March 2018 to Samuel Gardaz, vice-president for Public Affairs

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / +41 76 563 65 43 or +65 8573 1197 (from 11 March 2018)

A group of foreign students, mainly from Asia, were among the first to come on board Fleur de Passion on Sunday 19 March 2017, right after the expedition was back again in downtown Brisbane for another session of public events. Standing alone at the helm or sitting in groups at the stern with she CDB skyline as a backdrop, visibly so happy to feel the thrill of adventure in the « high seas », taking selfies or more traditional pictures, for sure they contributed to making The Ocean Mapping Expedition famous in their their home country, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thatand and even Nepal! As well as Slovenia, by the way…

After a short break early this week to finalize some work on board, public visits will resume on Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 from 10am to 6pm. Spread the word!

For The Ocean Mapping Expedition coming from a « landlocked » country like Switzerland, being invited for a presentation at the Queensland Maritime Museum was something quite special. And the team who took part to the event was more than happy to share this unique experience of sailing around the world in the wake of Magellan, on Saturday 18 Mars, while the other crew members had unfortunately to stay on watch on board Fleur de Passion, who had just docked in the center of Brisbane that same day. They were more than happy and a bit proud, considering the size of such a vast « sea locked » country as Australia and its impressive maritime heritage.

Beyond these geographical considerations and from a more human perspective, we could nevertheless feel some kind of astonishment and obvious consideration for this Swiss expedition and the stunning history of Fleur de Passion from the people attending the presentation, mainly Aussies and museum members. And because Switzerland is actually a country much more connected to the high seas then one could think and to celebrate this meeting of minds that day at the museum, a new item will now be features in the exhibition rooms: an official drawing made by Swiss illustrator and cartoonist Tom Tirabosco, offered by the Fondation Pacifique vice-president Samuel Gardaz to QMM Executive Director Ian Jempson.