A platform for Collège Edmond Bambuck students to communicate directly with the race team


A platform for Collège Edmond Bambuck students to communicate directly with the race team

Collège Edmond Bambuck

School Facts

  • Students involved: x1 class, totaling 27 students, average age 13

  • 1,190 students

  • Secondary school between ages 11 and 15 years old

  • Headmistress: Mrs Chantal N’GORE

  • Located in Gosier, Guadeloupe

  • Associated school: I.E.S. Valsequillo, Valsequillo de Gran Canaria

Hello Collège Edmond Bambuck!

I am very pleased to e-meet you. I hear that you want to learn a bit more about the Energy Challenge and my race across the ocean to you in Guadeloupe?

At the moment we have just over one month to prepare the boat and myself for the Route du Rhum solo race. There is a very long list of jobs to do to make sure I can increase reliability and performance during the race. Perhaps you can help me and suggest some ideas?

Look forward to hearing from you.



Phil Sharp

Hi Mr Sharp,

We are the 406 Erasmus – Year 9 from Edmond Bambuck middle school. We were really glad and honoured to read your first message.

We’re very interested in your Energy Challenge sailing race as we are now working on the different sources of energy and renewable energies.

We will soon come back to you with more ideas!

The 406 Erasmus

The 406 Erasmus

Hello Phil !

How are you? Are you ready for the race?

Now we have many ideas for your race:

-You can boil water to have desalinated water for your daily needs

-You can also use solar panels and plug them on your batteries to save energy

-To save power, why not putting a tidal turbine on your boat?

We guess you already have all these technologies on Imerys, but that’s the first ideas we came up with while working on renewable energies with our Physics teacher!

As we are really interested in your race, we would like to ask you some questions. Our PE teacher explained us a little about it but we wanted to know how you do to manage your boat alone for three weeks and where do you sleep?

May the force be with you!

The 406 Erasmus


The 406 Erasmus

Hello 406 Erasmus,

I am good thank you, very busy and almost! ready for the race. The problem is electronics. You can spend the whole year making sure the boat is perfect (reliable and durable), and then the machine says no… I left La Rochelle our team base yesterday (Wednesday) for St Malo. I am doing the crossing solo to complete my final training before the big race. However, I have had to stop in Lorient to fix my new autopilot. This is the machine that allows me to sleep when I am racing. It steers the boat to an angle I set, if this breaks then it means no sleep! This in part answers your question. Sleep is very valuable, and when sailing solo it is only possible to sleep for 20 minutes at a time. This is to ensure there is no danger on the horizon, but mainly to ensure that I am going as fast as I can go by checking the wind angle and trimming the boat for speed. This is because the wind changes a lot!

Very good ideas, I do indeed have a lot of solar aboard Imerys Clean Energy, and we have been working on new panels that are very efficient (to capture a lot of sun) and are safe to walk on – like sand paper!

When there is not enough sun we use a hydrogenerator (this is water turbine that captures energy from movement in the water). This only works when we have average speed. If we are going fast, the hydrogenerator flips up and says “no more!”, and if there is not very much wind the hydrogenerator makes the boat very slow by creating ‘drag’.

I am not quite sure about boiling sea water, perhaps you can tell me more? Otherwise we do use a desalinator, do you know what this is?

I must go to the boat and check that the autopilot has been fixed – then I can leave for St Malo quickly!

All the best



Phil Sharp

Hello Phil,

We know that you are now ranked second in your category, we’re proud of you! Keep it up!

We wish you the best Phil, go to your victory!

The 406 Erasmus


The 406 Erasmus

Bridging performance and sustainability

Bridging performance and sustainability