Thunberg’s Green Journey closing in

Published on August 26th, 2019

After a two-week Atlantic crossing on a yacht, Swedish climate campaigner Greta Thunberg is set to arrive in New York on August 27, 2019. The 16-year old Thunberg has become quite the disrupter since she started a school strike in front of the Swedish parliament in August 2018, with her initiative for climate action having inspired school strikes in more than 150 countries.

She has been nominated for the Nobel peace prize, she was on Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in 2019, and now she is bringing her show to the USA, and true to her cause, she is traveling from Europe to the New York not by plane but by sailboat.

Coming to attend the forthcoming UN Climate Action Summit, she and her dad have joined Team Malizia and will do the crossing on board their IMOCA 60 foiling monohull Malizia II. While this sailing team aims to sail in the Vendee Globe 2020 and The Ocean Race 2021, Greta aims to continue pounding her drum.

The Malizia II racing yacht – skippered by Pierre Casiraghi, the son of Monaco’s Princess Caroline, and German round-the-world sailor Boris Herrmann – left Plymouth in southern England on August 14th for a two-week voyage in order to enable the Swedish teen to attend the UN summit on zero emissions in September in New York.

The sailboat was nearing the US coast with strong downwinds. “Strong winds are pushing us west. We expect to arrive at North Cove Marina in Manhattan, New York, sometime Tuesday (August 27) afternoon or evening,” Thunberg wrote on Twitter.

In a video post published late on Sunday, Thunberg said the boat was travelling at “between 20 and 25 knots” and it was “very rough, and very high waves”. The teen marked the first anniversary of the start of her school strike on August 20th.

Thurnburg began sitting outside the Swedish parliament in August 2018 to raise the awareness of members of parliament to the urgency of climate change. She was swiftly joined by other students around the world, as word of her strike spread through the media, and the “Fridays for future” movement was born.

The 18-metre yacht features state-of-the-art solar panels on its deck and sides while there are two hydro-generators which together provide all the electricity needed on board.

Her voyage has however sparked controversy after a spokesman for Herrmann, the yacht’s co-skipper, told Berlin newspaper TAZ that several people would fly into New York to help take the yacht back to Europe. Herrmann himself will also return by plane, according to the spokesman.

Team Malizia’s manager insisted however that the young activist’s journey would be climate neutral, as the flights would “be offset”. Thunberg has meanwhile said that she doesn’t yet know how she will return to Europe when the time comes.

Nitzan Levy, Director of “Sailors NYC” sailing club in NY Harbor has reached out to fellow New York sailors to coordinate with the UN to get a welcome flotilla for Greta Thunberg. She thought of welcoming Thunberg properly with a New York Style Flotilla. Other local clubs joining in are set to be North Cove Sailing, Hudson River Community Sailing, Hoboken Sailing Club, and True North Sailing Club & Jersey City – City Sail.

The flotilla will accompany the Malizia near the entrance of the NY Harbor (the Verrazano Bridge) until she docks at the North Cove Sailing Marina in Battery Park in a show of solidarity for sustainability and global change.

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