Feb 23, 2023
Strategist of the Canada SailGP Team and National Sailing Team 49erFX sailor, Georgia Lewin-Lafrance from Chester, NS did the honours last week naming the team’s new F50 SPIRIT, just before the team’s inaugural sail in preparation for the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix – Sydney last weekend.
“I christen this F50, SPIRIT! May SPIRIT protect all those who sail her and inspire all those who see her,” said Georgia as she christened the F50 with Baron de Rothschilds Champagne and pure Canadian maple syrup.
The new Canadian F50 is named after the Killer Whale ‘Spirit’ who is part of the threatened Northern Resident Killer Whale population in the Pacific Northwest. Spirit’s mother, Springer, was rescued by a diverse group of Canadian and U.S. scientists, government officials and conservation groups in 2002 and has since become a celebrated symbol of what collaboration and commitment to conservation can achieve.
The team’s Race For The Future Partner, Ocean Wise, is very active in the monitoring and protection of Killer Whales. The Ocean Wise citizen science whale sightings app, WhaleReport, allows anyone to support conservation-based research by submitting sightings of whales, dolphins, and sea turtles along the coast. By providing valuable information about the spatial and temporal distribution, citizen sightings aid in monitoring and establishing effective protection measures and are used to warn large ships of whales in their travel path which in turn enable them to take action to avoid collisions.
All whales are at high risk as their populations continue to decline due to entanglement, pollution, and strikes. Join the team in protecting Killer Whales by signing up for the Ocean Wise Newsletter, becoming a citizen scientist and tracking the whales you see or symbolically adopting one of these threatened mammals.
By naming the F50 SPIRIT, the Canada SailGP Team hopes to inspire further ocean conservation among this and future generations.