Premier Marinas help launch Atlantic rowing bid to reduce ocean plastic

Launching their 2022 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge bid at the Southampton International Boat Show, team In Our Element are joining forces with The University of Portsmouth’s Centre for Enzyme Innovation to raise awareness and funds for its pioneering research programme which could revolutionise plastic use and help reduce the scourge of ocean plastic pollution.

The In Our Element team comprises Hollie Luff, Mike Hatch, Elliot Holman and Rachel Lasham, all long-time friends and colleagues at Premier Marinas. 

A presentation marking the launch of the rowing team’s fundraising and partnership with The University of Portsmouth took place on 15 September on Premier Marinas’ SIBS stand.

University of Portsmouth’s Professor John McGeehan says: “We are very proud to partner with the In Our Element team who are undertaking The Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – an inspirational endeavour where the crew will face the full force and beauty of nature in open seas, while raising awareness of the damage that plastic pollution is inflicting on our environment.

“Our team at the Centre for Enzyme Innovation at the University of Portsmouth… is developing enzymes that can break down manmade plastic materials, returning them back to their original building blocks and providing the potential for infinite plastics recycling. I wish the crew every success and I am extremely grateful to all those who give their support to the In Our Element team and our ongoing research in plastic-digesting enzymes.” 

Pete Bradshaw, CEO at Premier Marinas, says: “We’re delighted to be the principal sponsor for team In Our Element. Given the team are all colleagues their challenge is extremely personal for the whole company and we’re excited to follow their progress over the next year. Premier is already a leader in many aspects of environmentally sensitive marina management. Helping play a part to support the innovative work being undertaken at the University of Portsmouth is also incredibly rewarding.” 

In Our Element’s challenge will start in early December 2022 from San Sebastian in La Gomera, Canary Islands, with the intrepid team of four rowing a distance of 3,000 miles to English Harbour, Antigua, in an estimated 45 to 50 days. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with The University of Portsmouth and extending this personal challenge to support a much larger cause,” said Hollie Luff, skipper of team In Our Element. “David Attenborough and his documentary film A Life On Our Planet emphasised the seriousness of plastic pollution in our oceans and it has inspired the entire team. It’s a daunting physical challenge but we are determined and feel incredibly energised knowing we are raising awareness and funds for innovative research which could provide a major breakthrough in this area.” 

[Lead picture: The team – Hollie Luff, Mike Hatch, Elliot Holman and Rachel Lasham plus, left-hand side, Pete Bradshaw, CEO at Premier Marinas, and Professor John McGeehan in the middle].

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