Creating international understanding through peoples diplomacy on sea

German Naval officers reflect about Antarctica and its importance for our society.

“It has been an honour to give a speech for the “Marine-Offiziers-Messe München”, highlighting the importance of Antarctica for us and our planet and to report about the Global Offshore Sailing Team’s Expedition Antarctic Blanc.”

Jochen Werne
Antarctic Blanc Expedition Leader

Having experienced the sea by themselves the retired German Naval Officers enriched the discussion greatly with their own fascinating experiences and personal stories about life on sea and the challenges with the elements.

I’m grateful to Commander ret. Bernd Lehmann and Commander ret. Bernd Chittka for the invitation and the members and guests of the “Marine-Offiziers-Messe München for an outstanding evening and their engagement for our society.

The Global Offshore Sailing Team sailed to the most Southerly partially ice-free place of this planet – the ANTARCTIC continent. The international team remembered all sailors who bravely explored this fragile and dangerous environment.

With this Expedition a platform of intercultural and interdisciplinary exchange for ANTARCTIC enthusiasts such as Historians, Environmental Scientists, Sailors, NGO’s, Navies, Associations or just out of personal interest has been created.

www.AntarcticBlanc.com

Academy for Leadership: Adventure with plan

Article published in the Advance Magazine 01/2018 

https://advance-online.de/zeitungen/advance-01-18/story/

Translated by DeepL

 

2012 Expedition “Cerberus”, day 3.

A workplace to fear.  The wind whips the sailing yacht of the Global Offshore Sailing Team through the English Channel.  The heating goes on strike, everything on board is clammy and ice-cold.  Five men take turns on watch, the maximum rest period is three hours.  Götz Gredé had been forewarned, had packed heaps of warm things and his father’s lined hunting boots.  When he needs them, the rubber crumbles in his fingers.  They were probably too old and simply dried up, the good pieces.  For the guard on deck, Götz now has to slip into thin sneakers.  He freezes like never before in his life, thinking only of escape.  “In the next harbour I leave the ship.  You don’t mind, do you?” he asks Jochen Werne.  “Yes,” the expedition leader replies.  Götz is speechless. Then he learns something for life.

1991: Gorch Fock.

Give up or hold out?  Jochen Werne never asked himself this question.  The wiry mid-forty grows with his tasks, that’s always been the case.  He grew up in a village near Waldshut, directly on the Swiss border.  At the station kiosk, where others stock up on grain, he buys the “Herald Tribune”.  The view over the edge of the plate awakens the wanderlust.  He is particularly fascinated by seafaring.  He reports to the navy.  There he belongs to the best, can choose his command.  And he chooses one of the hardest jobs there is: the sail training ship “Gorch Fock”.  89 metres long, dream ship on the outside, life reduced to a minimum on the inside: 30 men on 30 square metres.  Privacy only exists on the mast at a height of 40 metres.  Werne has to sleep in the 1.75 metre long bunk.  Werne measures 1.79 metres.  “Turning around is not possible,” he says.  “I never lay in a coffin, but I didn’t have much more room.”  So it goes twice around the world.

What the navigator likes: sailing, camaraderie.  What’s not: the bureaucracy and the inertia of the system.  After two years duty on the “Gorch Fock” he decides against the officer career and studies business administration.  Even today, Werne criticizes rigid, inefficient structures that do not fit into an ever faster society: “The bigger the company, the easier it is for me to hide behind bureaucratic processes.  Do it on a ship!”

It turns out that shipping not only demands good leadership, it also provides strategic approaches when it comes to coping with disruption.  “The Apollo 11 space capsule had 12,300 transistors, 3 billion fit on the processor of the Apple iPad Air 2.”  Werne is enthusiastic about the exponential growth of digital technologies.  “We live in the most prosperous time ever,” he says.  His confidence has little to do with his belief in technology; it is based on a deeper insight: “We are all biased.  Fears from childhood block our view of the positive.”

2017 London, Chatham House.

Take digitization, for example: “Of course many jobs will be lost,” says Werne, “but many will also be created.  Nobody knows yet how big the gap between them will be.  Is digitalization the biggest upheaval in human history?  “That’s only what 30-year-olds say,” says Werne and laughs.  It’s not a matter of worrying.  After all, people are still the driving force behind technology.  That also gives them the freedom to make their own decisions.  For example, about what happens to that part of the population whose jobs are disappearing.  Do we need a basic income?  “Perhaps.  But above all we need a plan,” says Werne.

Such plans are being discussed at Chatham House, for example, one of the world’s most important think tanks based in London.  Jochen Werne discusses security, politics and society with the other members there.  He also talks about the future of work: “We need contingency plans, otherwise high unemployment threatens and people lose their prospects,” he says.  Above all, however, fear must be combated.  It is important to illustrate the benefits of new technologies for people.  Werne uses YouTube videos, for example, which show how Parkinson’s patients learn to control their trembling with the help of an implanted chip.  Or a development of the world’s largest wine producer. At Gallo in California, all vines were equipped with sensors.  They measure the moisture in the soil.  This data is enriched with weather data from NASA satellites.  “On this basis, Gallo was able to save 25 percent water during irrigation from one day to the next,” says Werne.

I FIRMLY BELIEVE IN MANKIND AND MORE IN ITS CREATIVE POWER THAN IN ITS DESTRUCTIVE POWER.

2003 Munich, Bankhaus August Lenz.

To see the future as a great adventure, this view of the world also brings momentum into professional life.  After studying business administration, Jochen Werne worked at an Internet start-up, then became an analyst at Bankers Trust Alex.  Brown International and in Global Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank.  In 2001, he joined Accenture as a CRM specialist.  His latest client there is the Mediolanum Group, an Italian financial services provider.  In 2001 it took over the Munich bank August Lenz.  Werne has been working for the “most personal private bank” since 2003, according to the promise in the slogan. As Director of Marketing, Business Development, Treasury & Payment Services, he drives the bank’s digitization.  He also deliberately seeks cooperation with up-and-coming Fintechs and develops services for which the bank has already received several awards.  “Innovation must start with top management,” he says.  His strategy: “Bring the right people together, then make it easy.  Werne borrows a nice term for this from Erich Fromm: “spontaneous activity”. “Spontane is important, it brings in creativity,” he says.  The concept “9 to 5” is dead, in new working environments it is exactly about making it as easy as possible for employees to come up with ideas.  Hierarchies are indispensable, says Werne.  Not only when sailing.  But he does restrict: “If the hierarchy stands, you also have to delegate and trust.  I’ve never seen anyone fail to accept a task assigned to them.”

2012 Expedition “Cerberus”, day 3.

Which brings us back to the freezing Götz Credé.  “He was completely perplexed because I didn’t want to just let him leave the boat,” recalls Werne.  In the conversation he draws a clear line: “We are in an uncomfortable situation, not in a struggle for survival.  Then he outlines a possible future for his colleague: “If you give up, you’ll always find plenty of reasons to justify yourself.  People will agree with you.  But that’s not the point.  It’s about admitting to yourself: “I can’t do that.”  When the next similar situation comes, you will behave like that again.  And in the end you walk stooped through life.”  Götz Credé stays and is the first one to sign up for the next tour.  Jochen Werne says: “The strongest drive comes from within.  Life is always about answering three questions: “What do I want?”, “What does it cost me?” and “Am I willing to pay the price?

Werne recommends all those who don’t feel comfortable at work to answer these questions for themselves.  He focuses on personality and freedom in the search for talent: “You can no longer reach the target group with the classic job description,” he says.  It is more important to appear authentic and to enable employees to shape their own work.  Only in this way can a company be successfully managed, because: “The well-being and woe always depends on the people”.

AS SOON AS THE HIERARCHY IS SET, ONE MUST ALSO BE ABLE TO DELEGATE AND TRUST.

2017 Prologue.

Jochen Werne likes to digress when he talks.  Always in an honest effort to leave the visitor in the dark about nothing.  The world is complicated.  Jochen Werne thinks deeper than many others.  The visitor experiences a doer with brains, an adventurer with a plan.  Oh what, with many plans.  Sovereign in appearance, blessed with the ability to get enthusiastic about one thing and carry others along.  The most beautiful example: In 1999 Jochen Werne founded the international Global Offshore Sailing Team (gost.org) to combine two passions: sailing on the high seas and international understanding.  30 to 40 members from different nations belong to the crew in changing line-ups.  “There are no national differences at sea, especially in extreme situations,” says Werne.  And these are the result in the following years, from the fight against storm and ice in Spitsbergen to the machine breakdown in the English Channel. The machine is repaired by the expedition leader himself, although he actually has no idea about the matter.  He thinks, analyses, finally finds the blocked cooling circuit and cleans it.  There was simply no one else there who could have done it better.  The banker, future thinker and expedition leader Jochen Werne trusts himself quite naturally.  In the end, we have the impression that with self-confidence, experience and a thirst for adventure, the future can not only be mastered, but well shaped.

Antarctica 2018: “Mankind can do a lot!

One of the expeditions led by Jochen Werne led to the Arctic ice in 2016.  The GOST team sailed to the pack ice border in the footsteps of researchers like Roald Amundsen, Fridtjof Nansen and Ernest Shackleton.  It commemorated the seamen who fought in the battles for Arctic convoys with supplies for Russia in the Second World War between 1941 and 1943.  In the name of Norway and Canada, the expedition participants handed over wreaths of the sea in memory of the fallen.  At the same time, the expedition was to raise awareness of the effects of climate change on the Arctic.  The expedition team was supported by King Harald of Norway, the Canadian government and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In February 2018, Jochen Werne set course for Antarctica.  “This is a completely different story again,” he says.  The average temperature on the coldest continent is minus 30 degrees, and the ice layer is on average 2.1 kilometres thick.  The “Antarctic Blanc” expedition primarily serves the environment.  The “Antarctic Treaty” has been in force since 1961, an agreement between 30 countries that have committed themselves to refrain from using Antarctica for military purposes and to exchange their research results openly.  In 1998, the “Environmental Protocol” was also signed, which is considered the toughest environmental protection agreement in the world.  Werne is optimistic: “It shows that we as humanity can achieve a lot, regardless of what opinions we hold.

The importance that the GOST expeditions now enjoy was already apparent in advance.  Support came from the Queen of England, the Vienna Hofburg and the office of the German Federal President.  The heads of state of the Czech Republic and Finland sent personal letters, Belgium, Bulgaria, Sweden and Switzerland were also on board.  Jochen Werne manages this with months of dedication and the motto: “If you want to achieve something – always start at the top”.

The expeditions on the web:

Global Offshore Sailing Team: www.gost.org

Arctic Expedition 2016: www.arcticoceanraptor.com

Antarctic Expedition 2018: www.antarcticblanc.com

Bankhaus August Lenz: www.banklenz.de

TV Broadcast: Monaco Info Environment – Expedition Antarctic Blanc

Pre-Expedition Press Conference Coverage – in French language

Monaco Info reported about the Expedition Antarctic Blanc’s Press Conference at the Yacht Club de Monaco interviewing Expedition Leader Jochen Werne, Environmental Initiatives Coordinator Dr. Benon Janos and Chief Observer David Gamba. The expedition will took place between the 12th and the 27th of February 2018 and was engaged in the commemoration of Antarctic explorers and the support of the United Nations #CleanSeas initiative.

www.AntarcticBlanc.com

Expedition Leader Jochen Werne about Antarctica

Expedition Antarctic Blanc delegation meets at the French Ministère de la Transition Écologique et Solidaire

It has been an honour for the delegation of GOST’s Expedition Antarctic Blanc consisting of Jochen Werne (Expedition Leader), Dr. Olivier Blanchard (Chief Liaison Officer to France) and Dr. Wolfgang Händel (Chief Logistics Officer) to be received by Mme Sophie-Dorothée Duron, Conseillère Biodiversité Eau Mer and Mme Carole Semichon, Chargée de mission – Milieu marin, Environnement polaire. The international Antarctic expedition has been successfully carried out with French assistance. The delegation presented the expedition flag, which represented France in Antarctica, as a symbol of remembrance. Mme Duron expressed her gratitude and said that she will present the flag to François de Rugy, ministre d’État, ministre de la Transition écologique et solidaire. In addition to that ideas have been exchanged how to strengthen the ties and to further involve the civil society into ecological topics also via expeditions of the Global Offshore Sailing Team.

We are grateful for this fruitful get-together and we’re looking forward to our next meetings in Paris.

Interview über Seefahrt, das Meer und Leidenschaft mit münchen.tv im Deutschen Museum

Es war ein großes Vergnügen gemeinsam mit dem GOST Chief Historian Bernd Lehmann in einem 45-minütigen Interview geführt von Christopher Griebel im Deutschen Museum über viele Facetten der Seefahrt und der zu dem Zeitpunkt bevorstehenden Antarktisexpedition Antarctic Blanc zu diskutieren.

Jochen Werne – GOST Co-Founder & Expedition Leader Antarctic Blanc

Es ist etwas besonderes auf diese Pre-Expedition Dokumentation genau heute am 1. April 2019 zurückzuschauen, an dem Tag, wo eine Delegation bestehend aus Jochen Werne (Expedition Leader), Dr. Olivier Blanchard (Chief Liaison Officer to France) und Dr. Wolfgang Händel (Chief Logistics Officer), französischen Regierungsvertretern in Paris die Expeditionsflagge übergeben werden.

LINK ZUM INTERVIEW

https://www.muenchen.tv/mediathek/video/im-deutschen-museum-2/

Bernd Lehmann – GOST & Expedition Antarctic Blanc Chief Historian

Le gouvernement français invite l’Expédition Antarctique Blanc

C’est un grand honneur d’avoir reçu une invitation du ministère français de la Transition écologique et solidaire à remettre le drapeau de l’expédition internationale à Mme Sophie-Dorothée Duron, Conseillère Biodiversité Eau Mer au Cabinet du Ministre sur la recommandation du Président de la République française Emmanuel Macron.

Le 1er avril 2019 à 16h00, Mme Sophie-Dorothée Duron, Conseillère Biodiversité Eau Mer, accueillera une délégation de l’expédition internationale Antarctic Blanc, menée avec succès et avec le soutien de la France. La délégation présentera le drapeau de l’expédition, qui représentait, entre autre, la France en Antarctique, comme un symbole du souvenir.

Le Président français Emmanuel MACRON a personnellement souligné dans sa lettre de soutien à l’Expédition l’importance de la préservation de l’écosystème de notre planète et la valeur d’une sensibilisation de la société par cette initiative.

TEMPÊTES ET ICEBERGS

Expédition Antarctique Blanc poursuivait des objectifs historiques, sociaux et environnementaux. Les 12 participants de l’initiative à l’expédition, soutenue également par les Nations Unies et 19 États, ont traversé sur un voilier de 20 mètres, deux fois en 12 jours, dans les conditions les plus difficiles, l’une des routes maritimes les plus dangereuses du monde – le détroit de Drake, couvrant 1129 milles marins (plus de 2 000 km). Le voyage a été marqué par le passage de plusieurs systèmes orageux en Antarctique et au large du Cap Horn, ce qui a retardé de plusieurs jours le retour de l’expédition. Des vents soufflant jusqu’à 50 km/h, des vagues jusqu’à 8m de haut et des températures autour du point de congélation ont exigé des performances physiques de haut niveau de la part des participants à l’expédition.

CÉRÉMONIE COMMÉMORATIVE INTERNATIONALE.

Naviguer sur des routes historiques. L’expédition a commémoré les chercheurs, explorateurs et marins dont les navires ont dû surmonter les difficultés survenues pour atteindre une région inconnue du monde. L’équipe internationale a organisé une cérémonie commémorative sur l’île volcanique proche de l’Antarctique, d’importance historique, l’île de la Déception. Au nom de tous les États ayant soutenu l’expédition et des Nations Unies, une couronne de glace locale a été symboliquement formée et déposée afin de rendre hommage aux réalisations internationales dans l’exploration de ce continent unique. Les pays ayant soutenu l’expédition comptent parmi les signataires du Traité sur l’Antarctique du 23 juin 1961, un traité politiquement unique en son genre. Les chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement des 19 nations ont exprimé leur soutien à cette expédition unique et privée par des lettres adressées au chef de l’expédition, Jochen Werne, notamment pour la réalisation de cette cérémonie de commémoration.

LA FRANCE ET LE TRAITÉ ANTARCTIQUE.

La France a adhéré au Traité sur l’Antarctique le 23 juin 1961 et, par sa signature, a également reconnu que “dans l’intérêt de l’humanité tout entière, l’Antarctique est utilisé exclusivement à des fins pacifiques et ne doit pas devenir le théâtre ou l’objet de discorde internationale” “qu’il est dans l’intérêt de l’humanité toute entière que l’Antarctique soit à jamais réservée aux seules activités pacifiques et ne devienne ni le théâtre ni l’enjeu de différends internationaux”. La France a également souligné son engagement en faveur de la préservation de cet écosystème en tant que “réserve naturelle dédiée à la paix et à la science”.

INITIATIVE DU PNUE POUR DES MERS PROPRES.

L’objectif principal de l’expédition était de sensibiliser le public international à la préservation de l’écosystème unique de l’Antarctique et de soutenir l’initiative des Nations Unies Clean Seas pour combattre les déchets plastiques dans les océans. Avec l’Expédition Antarctique Blanc, cet important projet du Programme des Nations Unies pour l’environnement est maintenant accepté sur tous les continents de notre planète.

LES CONSÉQUENCES DU CHANGEMENT CLIMATIQUE SUR L’ÉCOSYSTÈME.

De plus, l’expédition a soutenu le projet de recherche de l’Université du Connecticut et de l’Université Northeastern sur le métabolisme du plancton en en prélevant des échantillons, ce qui pourrait apporter une contribution fondamentale à l’obtention de réponses rapides sur les réactions de l’écosystème face au changement climatique.

DES BALEINES DANS L’ANTARCTIQUE.

Avec l’observation de 18 baleines différentes et la documentation détaillée sur leur position et leur comportement, l’expédition a également contribué à l’établissement de la plateforme mondiale d’observation des baleines “Happy Wales”. Cette plateforme vise à fournir à la science des connaissances approfondies sur le comportement et le développement des plus grands mammifères de notre planète.

LE DÉVELOPPEMENT DES ENFANTS ET DES JEUNES.

Afin de promouvoir des projets internationaux pour les enfants et les jeunes, plusieurs retransmissions en direct en mer et sur le continent Antarctique avec les enfants de l’école de voile du Yacht Club de Monaco ont eu lieu. A son retour, l’équipe a visité l’école de voile Cedena Yacht School Puerto Williams, au Chili, qui est ouverte aux enfants de tous les milieux de la région la plus méridionale de notre planète, et qui les encourage par le sport à développer leurs propres objectifs et traits de caractère, propices à leur développement personnel. En plus d’un don de l’équipe de l’expédition, elle a posé la première pierre d’un échange international et les enfants ont suivi une présentation sur l’Antarctique et son importance.

LA RECONNAISSANCE INTERNATIONALE.

La visite à Paris marque la cinquième réception importante pour Expédition Antarctique Blanc après celle du Prince Albert II à Monaco, de l’ambassadrice des pôles des Pays-Bas, Carola van Reijnsoever, à La Haye, du Président de l’Autriche Alexander Van der Bellen à Vienne et du secrétaire particulier de Sa Majesté la Reine du Danemark Henning Fode.

INVITATION À LA PRESSE

Après la remise du drapeau le 1er avril 2019 à 16h00 à Paris, le chef d’expédition Jochen Werne et le chef de liaison en France Olivier Blanchard seront à la disposition de la presse pour répondre à des questions et interviews, ou se prêter à des photos et des tournages.

Sur demande, la délégation peut également participer à des conférences de presse à Paris ce jour-là.

L’accréditation est demandée. Veuillez envoyer un e-mail à ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.comà cet effet.

Participants à l’expédition – Équipe Offshore

Jochen Werne Chef d’expédition

Marco Schröter Directeur de la sécurité

Oliver Picht Navigateur et chef de la documentation

Linden Blue Chef des communications

Bernd Görgner Chief Medical Officer

Benon Janos Coordinateur des initiatives environnementales

Wolfgang Händel Directeur de la logistique

Hans Axtner Maître de cérémonie

Michael Melnick Coordinateur en chef des sciences

David Gamba Observateur en chef

Wolf Kloss Skipper et propriétaire d’un bateau d’expédition

Karl Papenfuss Maté

Commentaire sur l’initiateur de l’expédition – The Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST)

L’expédition “Antarctic Blanc” est la suite de l’initiative polaire lancée en 2016 avec des objectifs comparables sous le nom de “Arctic Ocean Raptor”, mais dans la zone maritime du Spitzberg et jusqu’à la limite de la banquise arctique. Un autre aspect important a été la commémoration des marins de toutes les nations, qui ont rempli leurs fonctions de marins au cours des opérations maritimes dans l’Arctique dans des conditions météorologiques généralement impitoyables et qui ont en partie perdu la vie. Au nom du roi norvégien Harald V et du gouvernement canadien, une couronne a été remise au lac ; la Belgique, l’Allemagne, la Grande-Bretagne et l’Italie ont également apporté leur soutien international à cette expédition. Fondée en 1999 par Jochen Werne et Guido Zoeller, l’équipe Global Offshore Sailing Team s’est à nouveau engagée dans l’histoire maritime et les questions environnementales avec cette expédition particulièrement exigeante et sa campagne People’s Diplomacy.

French government invites Expedition Antarctic Blanc

Initiated by French President Emmanuel Macron, it’s a great honour having received an invitation from the French Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire to hand over the French expedition flag to Mme Sophie-Dorothée Duron, Conseillère Biodiversité Eau Mer in the Cabinet du Ministre

On 1 April 2019 at 4 p.m., Mme Sophie-Dorothée Duron, Conseillère Biodiversité Eau Mer will welcome a delegation from the international expedition Antarctic Blanc, which was successfully carried out with French assistance. The delegation will present the expedition flag, which represented France in Antarctica, as a symbol of remembrance.

French President Emmanuel MACRON personally underlined in his letter of support to the Expedition how important the preservation of our planet’s ecosystem is and how valuable therefore the creation of awareness in the society by the initiative.

Letter from the Elysée Palace supporting Expedition Antarctic Blanc

STORMS AND ICEBERGS

Expedition Antarctic Blanc pursued historical, social and environmental goals. The 12 expedition offshore participants of the initiative, supported by the United Nations and 19 states, crossed on a 20m sailing yacht twice in 12 days, under the toughest conditions, one of the most dangerous sea routes in the world – the Drake Passage, covering 1129 nautical miles (over 2,000km). The journey was marked by the passage of several storm systems in the Antarctic and off Cape Horn, which delayed the return by several days. Winds with up to 50kn, waves up to 8m high and temperatures around freezing point demanded top physical performances from the expedition participants.

INTERNATIONAL COMMEMORATION CEREMONY. Sailing on Historic Routes. The expedition commemorated the researchers, explorers and sailors whose ships had to master the challenging peculiarities of reaching an unknown part of the world. The international team held a commemoration ceremony on the historically significant Antarctic volcanic Deception Island. In the name of all supporting states and the United Nations, a wreath of local ice was symbolically formed and laid down in order to pay international tribute to the achievements in the exploration of this unique continent. The supporting nations are among the signatories of the politically unique Antarctic Treaty of 23 June 1961. Heads of state and government organizations of the 19 nations have expressed their support for this unique, privately initiated expeditions in letters to the leader of the expedition, Jochen Werne, in particular for the execution of the ceremonial act of commemoration.

FRANCE AND THE ANTARCTIC TREATY. France joined the Antarctic Treaty on 23 June 1961 and, with its signature, also acknowledged that “in the interest of all mankind, Antarctica is used exclusively for peaceful purposes and should not become the scene or object of international discord”. France also underlined its commitment to the preservation of this ecosystem as a “nature reserve dedicated to peace and science”.

UNEP CLEAN SEAS INITIATIVE. The main focus of the expedition was to sensitize the international public for the preservation of the unique Antarctic ecosystem and to support the UN initiative Clean Seas to combat plastic waste in the oceans. With Expedition Antarctic Blanc, this important United Nations Environmental Program project is now finding acceptance on all continents of our planet.

CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE ECOSYSTEM. In addition, the expedition supported the University of Connecticut and Northeastern University’s research project on plankton metabarcoding by collecting plankton samples, which could provide a fundamental contribution to obtaining rapid responses to the ecosystem’s response to climate change.

WHALES IN THE ANTARCTIC. With the observation of 18 different whales and the detailed documentation of their position and behaviour, the expedition also contributed to the establishment of the global whale observation platform ‘Happy Wales’. The platform is intended to provide science with in-depth insights into the behaviour and development of the largest mammals on our planet.

CHILD AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT. To promote international children and youth projects, several live broadcasts were held from sea and Antarctica with children of the sailing school of the Yacht Club de Monaco. On their return, the team visited the Cedena Yacht School Puerto Williams, Chile, which is open to children from all walks of life in the southernmost region of our planet, and through sport encourages them to develop their own goals and character traits that are conducive to their personal development. In addition to a donation from the expedition team, the foundation stone was laid for an international exchange and the children were introduced to Antarctica and its significance.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION. The visit to Paris marks the fifth important reception for Expedition Antarctic Blanc after the reception by Prince Albert II in Monaco, the ambassador of the poles of the Netherlands, Carola van Reijnsoever, in The Hague, the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen in Vienna and the Private Secretary to Her Majesty The Queen of Denmark Henning Fode.

PRESS INVITATION

  • Following the flag handover on 1 April 2019 at 4 p.m. in Paris, the expedition leader Jochen Werne and Chief Liasion Officer to France Olivier Blanchard will be available to the press for questions and interviews, pictures and filming.
  • On request, the delegation can also attend press events in Paris on this day.
    Accreditation is requested. Please send an e-mail to ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.com for this purpose.

Expedition participants – Offshore Team

Jochen Werne Expedition Leader

Marco Schröter Chief Safety Officer

Oliver Picht Navigator & Chief Documentation Officer

Linden Blue Chief Communication Officer

Bernd Görgner Chief Medical Officer

Benon Janos Environmental Initiatives Coordinator

Wolfgang Händel Chief Logistics Officer

Hans Axtner Master of Ceremony

Michael Melnick Chief Sciences Coordinator

David Gamba Chief Observer

Wolf Kloss Skipper and Expedition Yacht Owner

Karl Papenfuss Mate

Comment on the initiator of the expedition – The Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST)

Expedition “Antarctic Blanc” is the continuation of the polar initiative launched in 2016 with comparable objectives under the name “Arctic Ocean Raptor”, but in the Spitsbergen sea area and up to the Arctic pack ice limit. An additional and important aspect was the commemoration of the seafarers of all nations, who fulfilled their seafaring duties during the maritime operations in the Arctic under the mostly merciless weather conditions and partly also lost their lives. In the name of the Norwegian King Harald V and the Canadian government, a wreath was handed over to the lake; further international support for this expedition came from Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and Italy. Founded in 1999 by Jochen Werne and Guido Zoeller, the Global Offshore Sailing Team is once again committed to maritime history and environmental issues with this particularly challenging expedition and its People’s Diplomacy campaign.

Press contact:

Jochen Werne

Expedition Leader

Mail: ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.com

Movie World Premiere: OCEANS IN DANGER

Expedition Antarctic Blanc supported with pride the new movie of producer Martina Hirschmeier

Martina wrote on Facebook about today’s premiere:

Martina Hirschmeier

“Tomorrow, Tuesday 19.2.19, 16 o’clock on the stage of the VBE in hall 8 on the #Didacta2019 #Premiere of #Oceans in danger. It is the most international and probably most important project I have ever supervised. Many thanks to the supporters, without whom we would never have been able to manage the project: the #loveyourocean Initiative, Sarah Kinloch #seashepherd Nicolai Duda, Frank, Madeleine von Hohenthal and Benjamin Wenke from #Bracenet, Martin Aigner, Reefcalendar, #Scubazoo, Cornelia Nauen, #Mundusmaris, Line Hindsbjerg, Emily Penn, #Exxpedition, Jenn Russell, #DeutscheMeeresstiftung, Ariel Lucero, Melina, Parinoshka Kobbe, #Tasini, Underwater Worlds, Katrin Haensch, Teresa, #Maketheoceansplasticfree, Mareike Huhn, Katrin Hans, Lena Löschel, #BandaSea, Jochen Werne, #Antarcticblanc, #Guppybag, Marcella Hansch, #MermaidKat, Esther Gonstalla, Ghost Fishing, Healthy Seas, Torben Cord, #Planctonchronicles, #PalmaAquarium, #MHouse. Thanks for the emotional support go to Melanie Künzl and Christina Schröter.”

After meeting Martina for the first time at the world’s largest boat show, it quickly became clear that her heart beats for our oceans and for educating children and young people about the importance of preserving our planet’s ecosystem. It is a great pleasure to support her new project and we are all looking forward to seeing “Oceans in danger” soon.

Jochen Werne
Expedition Leader
Expedition Antarctic Blanc
Facebook post by Martina Hirschmeier prior the movie premiere of Oceans in danger

Presidential reception for Expedition Antarctic Blanc reaches more than 1.5 million people

The two largest Austrian newspapers “Kronenzeitung” and “Heute” reported on the official visit of a delegation of Expedition Antarctic Blanc to the Hofburg. Together, the publications have a circulation of more than 1.5 million copies per day.

We are grateful to President Alexander Van der Bellen for the invitation, the President’s Press Corps and the press for the publications that support the goal of raising awareness of such important issues as the UNEP Clean Seas Initiative, the fight against microplastics in our oceans, the importance of Antarctica for our ecosystem and the importance of international cooperation and understanding.

Austria has a long standing tradition in Polar Research leading to the Austrian Polar Research Institute, who’s coordinating today the country’s activities in the Arctic and Antarctica

The delegation consisted of

Jochen Werne (Expedition Leader); Andris Adam (Chief Liason Officer to Austria and Hungary); Götz Credé (Chief Liaison Officer to Belgium, Denmark and The Netherlands); Dr. Wolfgang Händel (Chief Logistics Officer); Prof. Dr. Andreas Richter (Founding Director of the Austrian Polar Research Institutes); Christin Latk (Expedition Support Team – Akademie der Führungskräfte)

Austrian President will welcome Antarctic Expedition in Vienna

PRESS RELEASE
January 2019

(translated from German original by DeepL.com)

AUSTRIAN PRESIDENT WILL WELCOME ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION IN VIENNA

On 22 January 2019 at 11 a.m., Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen will welcome a delegation from the international expedition Antarctic Blanc, which was successfully carried out with Austrian assistance. The delegation will present the expedition flag, which represented Austria in Antarctica, as a symbol of remembrance.

POLAR RESEARCH IN AUSTRIA

Austria has a long tradition in polar research, which began with the Austro-Hungarian polar expedition in the 1870s. A milestone in Austrian polar research were the contributions to the International Geophysical Year 1957/58, which formed the basis for a polar focus at the University of Innsbruck. As a result, several renowned scientists carried out research in both the Arctic and Antarctic as part of the programme. After all, the International Polar Year 2007/08 was a great success for Austrian polar research. It strengthened national and international cooperation and led to the foundation of the Austrian Polar Research Institute in 2012.

STORMS AND ICEBERGS

Expedition Antarctic Blanc pursued historical, social and environmental goals. The 12 expedition offshore participants of the initiative, supported by the United Nations and 19 states, crossed on a 20m sailing yacht twice in 12 days, under the toughest conditions, one of the most dangerous sea routes in the world – the Drake Passage, covering 1129 nautical miles (over 2,000km). The journey was marked by the passage of several storm systems in the Antarctic and off Cape Horn, which delayed the return by several days. Winds with up to 50kn, waves up to 8m high and temperatures around freezing point demanded top physical performances from the expedition participants.

INTERNATIONAL COMMEMORATION CEREMONY. Sailing on Historic Routes. The expedition commemorated the researchers, explorers and sailors whose ships had to master the challenging peculiarities of reaching an unknown part of the world. The international team held a commemoration ceremony on the historically significant Antarctic volcanic Deception Island. In the name of all supporting states and the United Nations, a wreath of local ice was symbolically formed and laid down in order to pay international tribute to the achievements in the exploration of this unique continent. The supporting nations are among the signatories of the politically unique Antarctic Treaty of 23 June 1961. Heads of state and government organizations of the 19 nations have expressed their support for this unique, privately initiated expeditions in letters to the leader of the expedition, Jochen Werne, in particular for the execution of the ceremonial act of commemoration.

AUSTRIA AND THE ANTARCTIC TREATY. Austria joined the Antarctic Treaty on 25 August 1987 and, with its signature, also acknowledged that “in the interest of all mankind, Antarctica is used exclusively for peaceful purposes and should not become the scene or object of international discord”. Austria also underlined its commitment to the preservation of this ecosystem as a “nature reserve dedicated to peace and science”.

UNEP CLEAN SEAS INITIATIVE. The main focus of the expedition was to sensitize the international public for the preservation of the unique Antarctic ecosystem and to support the UN initiative Clean Seas to combat plastic waste in the oceans. With Expedition Antarctic Blanc, this important United Nations Environmental Program project is now finding acceptance on all continents of our planet.

CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE ECOSYSTEM. In addition, the expedition supported the University of Connecticut and Northeastern University’s research project on plankton metabarcoding by collecting plankton samples, which could provide a fundamental contribution to obtaining rapid responses to the ecosystem’s response to climate change.

WHALES IN THE ANTARCTIC. With the observation of 18 different whales and the detailed documentation of their position and behaviour, the expedition also contributed to the establishment of the global whale observation platform ‘Happy Wales’. The platform is intended to provide science with in-depth insights into the behaviour and development of the largest mammals on our planet.

CHILD AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT. To promote international children and youth projects, several live broadcasts were held from sea and Antarctica with children of the sailing school of the Yacht Club de Monaco. On their return, the team visited the Cedena Yacht School Puerto Williams, Chile, which is open to children from all walks of life in the southernmost region of our planet, and through sport encourages them to develop their own goals and character traits that are conducive to their personal development. In addition to a donation from the expedition team, the foundation stone was laid for an international exchange and the children were introduced to Antarctica and its significance.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION. The visit to the Hofburg marks the third important reception for Expedition Antarctic Blanc after the reception by Prince Albert II in Monaco and the ambassador of the poles of the Netherlands, Carola van Reijnsoever, in The Hague. Further visits to Copenhagen, Paris and Madrid are planned shortly.

PRESS INVITATION

  • Following the flag handover on 22 January 2018 at 11 a.m. in the Hofburg, the expedition participants Jochen Werne and Dr. Wolfgang Händel, Liasion Officers Götz Credé and Andris Adam, as well as the founding director of the Austrian Polar Research Institute Prof. Dr. Andreas Richter and Christin Latk from the Expedition Support Team in the Academy for Leadership will be available to the press for questions and interviews, pictures and filming.
  • On request, the delegation can also attend press events in Vienna on this day.
    Accreditation is requested. Please send an e-mail to ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.com for this purpose.

Expedition participants – Offshore Team

Jochen Werne Expedition Leader

Marco Schröter Chief Safety Officer

Oliver Picht Navigator & Chief Documentation Officer

Linden Blue Chief Communication Officer

Bernd Görgner Chief Medical Officer

Benon Janos Environmental Initiatives Coordinator

Wolfgang Händel Chief Logistics Officer

Hans Axtner Master of Ceremony

Michael Melnick Chief Sciences Coordinator

David Gamba Chief Observer

Wolf Kloss Skipper and Expedition Yacht Owner

Karl Papenfuss Mate

Comment on the initiator of the expedition – The Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST)

Expedition “Antarctic Blanc” is the continuation of the polar initiative launched in 2016 with comparable objectives under the name “Arctic Ocean Raptor”, but in the Spitsbergen sea area and up to the Arctic pack ice limit. An additional and important aspect was the commemoration of the seafarers of all nations, who fulfilled their seafaring duties during the maritime operations in the Arctic under the mostly merciless weather conditions and partly also lost their lives. In the name of the Norwegian King Harald V and the Canadian government, a wreath was handed over to the lake; further international support for this expedition came from Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and Italy. Founded in 1999 by Jochen Werne and Guido Zoeller, the Global Offshore Sailing Team is once again committed to maritime history and environmental issues with this particularly challenging expedition and its People’s Diplomacy campaign.

Press contact:

Jochen Werne

Expedition Leader

Mail: ExpeditionLeader@AntarcticBlanc.com

Mobile & WhatsApp: +491752315879

Further links:

Website Expedition Antarctic Blanc: www.AntarcticBlanc.com

Government correspondence: http://antarcticblanc.com/about/honorary-supporters

Twitter: @AntarcticBlanc

Instagram: @AntarcticBlanc

Facebook: @AntarcticBlanc

VIDEO.  Official expedition trailer: https://youtu.be/Lx5tM6aiqxA

Austrian Polar Research Institute: http://www.polarresearch.at

UNEP Clean Seas Initiative: http://antarcticblanc.com/environmental-research/un-environment-initiative-cleanseas

Antarctic Treaty & Environmental Protection: http://antarcticblanc.com/environmental-research/the-protocol-on-environmental-protection-to-the-antarctic-treaty

Federal Environment Agency: http://antarcticblanc.com/environmental-research/official-expedition-meeting-with-the-german-environmental-agency-umweltbundesamt

Global Offshore Sailing Team: http://antarcticblanc.com/about/global-offshore-sailing-team

International Maritime Museum Hamburg: www.IMMHH.de

German Society for Maritime and Naval History e.V.: www.marinegeschichte.de

Yacht Club de Monaco: www.YCM.mc

Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club: www.RCPYC.org.uk

Picture credits: Picture 1 & 2 © Expedition Antarctic Blanc / Picture 3 © Dr. Oliver Picht / Picture 4 © Cedena / Picture 5 © Axel BASTELLO / Palais Princier