On Friday, 2 June, at 10h00, HSH Prince Sovereign Albert II of Monaco held out the mooring ropes to navigator Yvan Griboval who arrived at the pontoon of honour of the Yacht Club of Monaco on board the OceanoScientific Explorer “Boogaloo” (a 16-meter / 52.5-foot high-performance mono-hull sailboat), at the end of 152 days of a single-handed round-the-world tour, over a total distance of 35,230 nautical miles (65,246 km). Having set off from this very quayside, the navigator – explorer was determined to return to the point of departure. He had entrusted his mooring ropes to the Sovereign Prince on November 17 at the same place, underlining his wish to return to his starting point: the Monegasque club whose flag he flies.
Yvan Griboval arrived in the Principality after having successfully completed the first ever oceanographic data collection campaign by sail at the air-sea interface in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current rounding the three major capes: that of Good Hope (South Africa), Leeuwin (Australia) and the Horn (Chile), leaving no CO2 or waste, during sixty days of single-handed sailing in the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties.
A hundred or so local schoolchildren who had been following the whole expedition were there to welcome the navigator – explorer who was very moved emotionally to the reunited with his family. The notably present at the quayside were Pierre Casiraghi, Vice-President of the Monaco Yacht Club, his Excellency, Mr. Bernard Fautrier, Vice-president and Administrateur délégué of the Fondation Prince Albert II of Monaco, Robert Calcagno, Director of l’Institut océanographique, and navigator Catherine Chabaud, Déléguée à la mer et au littoral, representing the Ministre d’Etat, Mr. Nicolas Hulot.
The data and samples collected under the 40th Southern Parallel at the air-sea interface in regions of the seas seldom explored if at all will now be analysed by scientists (Ifremer, CNRS, Météo-France, etc.), and will therefore only produce tangible results in several months. They will also be the subject of an international scientific publication.
His Highness Prince Albert made the following declaration: “The long navigation of Yvan Griboval with its important scientific objectives, is an example of what can be obtained with tenacious willpower, when it is employed to a common cause. We will lead all the energy and goodwill available to save the oceans, that of men of action and passion like Yvan, whose initiatives and liberty are precious inspiration for us all, that of the scientists, of which you, like myself, are aware of the importance, and that of the world leaders who I will endeavour untiringly to convince when I meet up with them again next week at the UN to discuss the durable Development Objective no 14 dedicated to the oceans”.
“What an immense joy today for the Oceanographic Institute, which has been helping this project for a long time, to see Yvan coming back to Monaco in good health, completing his mission. He is a valuable person, whose commitment for the oceans is strong. Beyond the human challenge, it’s a scientific adventure and I look forward to get all the results, which will be officially handed to the scientific organizations on July 3rd at the Maison des océans, in Paris. Yvan plays an outstanding mediator role, he knows perfectly how to find the right words to deliver a collective message, to raise public awareness, particularly to young people. The arrival, today, of the OceanoScientific Explorer ‘Boogaloo’ echoes – in a slightly different way but with the same degree of fervour to learn and inform – to the Yersin’s departure on July 27th, as part of the Monaco Explorations, led by HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. All these initiatives strengthen Monaco’s implication in the oceans-related questions and issues, on the eve of The Ocean Conference at the United Nations next week ” said Robert Calcagno, Director of the Oceanographic Institute.
As for Yvan Griboval, there is no question of taking a break to facilitate his return among landlubbers. Starting next week, he will be attending a series of previously-scheduled meetings to prepare and put into operation the next OceanoScientific Expedition, backed by the extraordinary experience acquired over the last few months in the Far South.
Yvan Griboval will also embark on a long crusade to obtain the permanent protection of the Far South, outside territorial waters, notably by devoting all his energy and commitment to that purpose alongside that of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, as he confirmed during his arrival speech at the Yacht Club of Monaco: “I have returned to shore with the firm intention of fighting until my dying day to ensure the region of the sea between the 40th and 60th Southern Parallels be sanctuarised forever. I place myself at Your service for that purpose, Your Highness, for You are the only Head of State in a position to successfully carry out this task of immense importance for our children. We need to help You. We must raise an army of millions of people with goodwill throughout the world to convey Your convictions and efforts to protect our Ocean. The objective is to obtain ratification by the world’s major powers of what I call the “Monaco Protocol” which will make that protection irreversible for the benefit of generations to come.”
This expedition, organized by the OceanoScientific philanthropic association and registered charity, is supported and supervised by Ifremer, Météo-France, and the CNRS. It is sponsored by the Commission Océanographique Intergouvernementale de l’UNESCO (COI-UNESCO) with the support of the JCOMMOPS and Mercator Océan. It is supported by the Yacht Club de Monaco, whose flag is flown by Yvan Griboval and Boogaloo, by the Institut Océanographique, Fondation Albert 1er, Prince de Monaco, by the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco and by the Centre Scientifique de Monaco.