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Montevideo, May 26th 2024 - 02:16 UTC

 

 

Former St Helena sea link, turned into “floating paddock” for Extreme E competitions visiting Uruguay

Tuesday, November 8th 2022 - 09:11 UTC
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St Helena is transporting electric vehicles and all the necessary backup equipment for the last leg of the Extreme E season championship dispute in Uruguay St Helena is transporting electric vehicles and all the necessary backup equipment for the last leg of the Extreme E season championship dispute in Uruguay

A completely refurbished former RMS St Helena, which sailed between the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, (occasionally Ascension Island) and Cape Town in South Africa until 2018, is currently in Uruguay although under a new purpose.

This time she is transporting electric vehicles and all the necessary backup equipment for the last leg of the Extreme E season championship dispute, which is to take place at the end of the month in the Uruguayan seaside resort of Punta del Este.

The Extreme E competition is a FIA (International Automobile Federation) sanctioned international off road series that uses specific silhouette electric SUVs to race in remote parts of the world, such as the Saudi Arabian desert or the Arctic. All racing locations are chosen to raise awareness for some aspects of climate change. Extreme E maintains a “Legacy Program” which intends to provide social and environmental support for those locations. The series also promotes gender equality in motorsport by mandating that all teams consist of a female and a male driver who share equal driving duties.

Extreme E began in 2018 as a project led by Formula E founder Alejandro Agag and ex driver Gil de Ferran. The series was presented to the public in January 2019 with an event in London The announcement took place on board of the St Helena which was to serve as “floating paddock” of the series, and also introduced sponsors of the project

The first season began with the Desert X-Prix in Saudi Arabia in in April 2021 and ended in December in the UK. Nine teams were competing over five rounds. Because of the COVID 19 pandemic the calendar had to be modified during the season with two European rounds replacing the two planned events in South America. Rosberg X Racing with drivers Molly Taylor and Johan Kristoffersson emerged as the first Extreme E champions.

On 24 September 2021, a provisional five-round calendar was revealed, which included a return to Saudi Arabia for the season opener in February, an African event, a second Arctic X-Prix in Greenland or Iceland,and two trips to South America A further update was announced on 22 December 2021. Saudi Arabia and Sardinia return from the previous year, with new events to be held in Chile (24/25 September) and Uruguay (26/27 November)

The current leader of the second season is the Rosenberg X Racing (RXR), has won two of the four races so fa. The Nico Rosenberg team has 83 points, 17 point ahead of its immediate runner up X44 of Carbon Racing.

St Helena is used to carry all equipment, including the cars, to the race locations (or nearest port) in order to reduce carbon emissions compared to air freight. The ship's environmental footprint has been reduced by converting the propulsion units and the generators to run on ultra low sulfur diesel. She also serves as a research vessel, carrying scientists and potentially holding conferences at the race locations.

Following the end of the St Helena sea link the island of Saint Helena now has an international airport The runway was finished in 2015 and the airport opened in 2016. The inaugural scheduled flight was delayed but general aviation, charter, and medical evacuation flights were able to serve the airport from May 2016. The airport began scheduled commercial services on 14 October 2017, when the South African carrier Airlink inaugurated a weekly service from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, via Namibia to the BOT

 See:  How Uruguay is leading the green energy charge 

Categories: International, Uruguay.

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