132 days, 19 hours, 22 minutes and 34 seconds sailing the world’s oceans for team Turn the Tide on Plastic, and the Volvo Ocean Race has finally reached its final destination.

Team Turn the Tide on Plastic
Team Turn the Tide on Plastic

Team Turn the Tide on Plastic did exceptionally well in the very last moments of the race, picking up the pace when it counted most and giving the performance of a lifetime in the final In-Port race. The team managed to lift themselves out of last place, finishing the race in 6th place overall!

Dee Cafarri,  the only woman skipper on Team Turn The Tide on Plastic.
Dee Cafarri, the only woman skipper on Team Turn The Tide on Plastic.

The team has been led throughout the last eight months by the only woman skipper in the race, Dee Cafarri, who put together the race’s only equally split male and female team.

Dee commented on the success of the team, despite concerns in the industry about the capabilities of the young, equal gendered team:

“It’s the best way to finish the campaign for us. We’ll all go away knowing we made some good finishes and were able to come back. People didn’t know if we could do it, but we have, and it’s just rounded it all off to finish like this.”

The race ended on a particular high for team member Bleddyn Mon, who won the Hans Horrevoets Rookie Award for his contribution to the race. The award is given to the outstanding young sailor of each Volvo Ocean Race.

In addition to racing around the world, the team collected water samples on-board during each leg of the race. Results have shown that out of a total of 68 samples taken during the course of the Volvo Ocean Race, only two have been found to contain no microplastics.

The data collected in the Southern Ocean was especially alarming. Close to Point Nemo, the furthest point from land on Earth (where the closest human out of water is in the international space station!), there were between nine and 26 particles of microplastics per cubic metre found.

Even as close to home as the coast of Cardiff, 65 particles of microplastics were found per cubic metre.

Anne-Cecile Turner, Sustainability Programme Leader for the Volvo Ocean Race commented:

 “The race has now come full circle and the fact that just two of the samples didn’t contain microplastics clearly shows how pervasive they have become. The collation of a complete data set by this elite scientific consortium is of exceptional value and provides an historic legacy and clear benchmark for our future understanding of the world’s oceans and climate.”

The message of #PassOnPlastic has been carried by Turn the Tide on Plastic throughout the race and Sky Ocean Rescue is proud to have partnered with the team on their journey around the world.

We hope that the message encourages people to make simple everyday changes to stop the ocean from drowning in plastic and wish the crew the best of luck in their future endeavours.