Arctic Adventure – La voie du pôle, sailing across the Arctic Ocean, which began on 1 July 2018, is the attempt of a world première – i.e. to become the first to sail, unassisted, across the Arctic Ocean.
Leading sponsor of “La voie du pôle 2018” is DP Technology, creator of Esprit CAM, the industrial computer-aided manufacturing software. Heading the 3-crew French team is Sébastien Roubinet, and together with Eric André and Vincent Colliard, the explorers will cross the 3,300-km stretch across the Arctic Ocean from Alaska to Spitsbergen in a 7-m hybrid catamaran: half sailboat, half iceboat. They are travelling for three months over water and ice in complete autonomy, driven only by wind and muscle power.
Roubinet, founder of this expedition who made this attempt in 2010 and 2013, is confident about the expedition.
The brand-new hybrid catamaran, of which its design was fully re-invented to increase performance, is now more ergonomic, making it easier for the crew to handle. It is also lighter so it can be pushed when needed and can generate energy to ensure its autonomy as well, it is said.
All three men have a passion for the Polar Region and are concerned about the current state of it, which has been menaced by recent climate changes. Thanks to its lightness and the absence of any mechanical propulsion the boat operates as an ideal platform for the scientific aspect of the project, collecting data on the Arctic environment, undisturbed. The crew are working with several laboratories, performing diverse measurements, making images, collecting animal and plankton census protocols for monitoring the ice, observing the impact of human beings and making behavioural studies linked to the polar environment.
The entire Esprit team fully supports this challenge in the technological sense as well, represented by the boat built by Roubinet, which has very advanced materials and technology. Several innovative mechanical parts of the catamaran were made using Esprit CAM software, DP Technology says. Moreover, to be even more closely associated with this adventure, a constellation of over 200 stars on the bridge of the boat, consisting of photos of all Esprit employees, is accompanying the expedition throughout the way to the North Pole.