Team Malizia

This episode is taking you to the high seas with our guest Boris Herrmann, the skipper of the IMOCA Team Malizia, currently racing around the world in the Ocean Race 2023.

Yes, it’s a lot about racing sailboats. You’ll discover Boris’s joy and thrills of racing high performance sailing machines around the planet, but it’s also a lot about the future of maritime transportation.

Because, it’s now an evidence that offshore racing is an engine for innovations. Just like the America’s Cup, Formula One or Nascar.

Boris will guide you through the pathways between his sport and the development of wind assisted cargo vessels. Not only is he passionate about it, speaking like a true advocate, but he is also directly involved since Team Malizia joined  the International WindShip Association a few months ago.

With his sponsors – a clever mix of foundations and private enterprises – he is guiding the adaptation of wind propulsion for several German based shipping companies.

When Kat spoke with him, he was fresh off the boat, after a gruesome and epic victory in the longest leg, between Capetown, South Africa and Itajai, Brazil. But since Boris was waiting for a flight to take him back home in Germany, we recorded this interview from the airport. We apologize for the background noise.


This week’s episode brings us down memory lane. 

Our guest on March 31st, 2021 was Roger Strevens,  VP Global Sustainability at Wallenius Wilhelmsen. Roger shared with us the design and feasibility assessment of the Orcelle Wind, the car carrier that will be powered primarily by wind, killing emissions by up to 90% in comparison to other new-built ships. 

Today, Kat Bride is catching up with Niclas Dahl, managing director of Oceanbird: the Swedish company (joint venture of Alfa Laval and Wallenius) develops and provides technology for wind-powered vessel propulsion. The Oceanbird wing sails will equip the Orcelle Wind. 

Niclas is a true believer of using wind to power the maritime industry toward Zero Emission. He is leading his team “to take the step to try something new”,  developing  top of the art wing sails. 

“In my view, the more mature products today are the wind ones. Wind is a free energy, abundant and, thanks to the enormous progress of the last decades in forecasting, it’s reliable! It’s time to go forward!”, affirms Niclas.

So Niclas Dahl is not wrong when he is saying “There will be early adopters. For the others, I hope they will wake up as soon as possible”

VELA Transport

We are thrilled to introduce our two new guests. They met on a boat and decided to start a shipping company. They both are committed to succeed on their mission, helped by their passion and their business acumen. One is an accomplished athlete, a sailor whose credentials are world-renowned. The other is an engineer who has worked with success in the automobile industry. Together, with three other partners, they launched VELA Transport. François Gabart and Michael Fernandez-Ferri are our guests and we couldn’t be more proud. 

François competes on the ocean with his state-of-the-art SVR Lazartigue while running his company Mer Concept. He recognized early on that his passion and skill in his racing endeavors could be translated into projects that can transform the way people are going to sea, on a ferry or a cruising boat made of flax. 


So why not transpose this expertise into maritime transportation, with a goal to reach the sacrosanct Zero Emission? Francois Gabart’s victories in the Vendee Globe in 2012, the Alain Colas Trophy in 2018 and many more, plus the work done by the pioneers at TOWT and Grain de Sail are part of the response. It’s a challenge that Francois, Michael, Pascal Galacteros, Pierre Arnaud Vallon and Thibault Charles from VELA feel they have a good shot at and they want to bank on. 

SEair: “one day, all boats will fly.”

This episode of Hoisting the Sail begins with the wish of a sail racer who yearned to pilot a flying sailboat above the water and win every race. 

In 1987, legendary sailor Éric Tabarly famously proclaimed that “one day, all boats will fly.” Today’s guest, Richard Forest, CEO and co-founder of SEair, diligently leads a team of engineers to prove Tabarly was right! 

Founded in 2016 and based in Lorient, France, SEair rose above the competition to become the global specialist for hydrofoil vessels.  If wind propulsion can drastically reduce CO2 emissions from cargo ships, foiling is a proven solution to reduce fuel consumption for smaller boats, from commuter ferries to pleasure craft. In addition, foils are transforming gray boats (military vessels) into green ones. To wit, SEair was awarded EU grants to develop fast intervention boats for several European navies.

Richard spoke passionately about his work as an innovator and entrepreneur. Changing the way we travel on water is a big issue, and adopting foils presents its own difficulties.
Thankfully, SEair’s expertise and dedication to designing and building better ships will lead us closer to a faster and cleaner future for maritime transport. 

If that’s not enough to celebrate, foiling above the water reduces seasickness!


This new episode of Hoisting the Sail is taking you to Barcelona!

Our guest is David Ferrer Desclaux, co-founder & CTO of bound4blue.

A trained aerospace engineer, he switched to the vast horizon of our blue planet in 2015 and started, along with a group of classmates, bound4blue, “to power the world with wind”.

Bound4Blue is developing an automated wind-assisted propulsion system, the eSAIL.

If you grew up watching Commandant Jacques Cousteau adventures on TV, you may remember his 2nd boat, the Alcyone. Commandant Cousteau’s team included two bright engineers, Professor Lucien Malavard and Doctor Bertrand Charrier. 

Together, they revived and improved the Flettner Rotor,  developing the a Suction Sail named the Turbosail™ – the ancestor of the eSAIL was born!

Doctor Bertrand Charrier is now an associate at Bound4Blue! With the young and dedicated team of the Spanish start-up, they keep improving the Suction Sail technology & design, gaining an impressive 20% boost in fuel saving performance. 

Bound4Blue has become a major player in the growing wind propulsion technology. The eSAIL has been harnessing the wind since 2021, bringing live data to confirm the savings predicted by modelisations. 

For our aerospace engineer and his team, the sky’s the limit!

Trade Winds, by Christiaan De Beukelaer


Our guest today is Christiaan De Beukelaer, a sailor, traveller, and a researcher at the University of Melbourne. 


Christiaan and Kat discuss his book Trade Winds, A voyage to a sustainable shipping.

In 2020, Christiaan De Beukelaer spent 150 days covering 14,000 nautical miles aboard the schooner Avontuur, a hundred-year-old sailing vessel that transports cargo across the Atlantic Ocean. Embarking in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, he wanted to understand the realities of a little-known alternative to the shipping industry on which our global economy relies, and which contributes more carbon emissions than aviation.

What started as a three-week stint of fieldwork aboard the ship turned into a five-month journey, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced all borders shut while crossing the ocean, preventing the crew from stepping ashore for months on end.

Trade winds engagingly recounts De Beukelaer’s life-changing personal odyssey and the complex journey the shipping industry is on to cut its carbon emissions. The Avontuur’s mission remains crucial as ever: the shipping industry urgently needs to stop using fossil fuels, starting today. If we can’t swiftly decarbonise shipping, we can’t solve the climate crisis.


Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature describes Christiaan’s book as “a truly fascinating account of a voyage, but also of an idea that is counter-intuitive in a world based on speed, but revelatory for a planet that is going to have to start taking real care of itself. There’s a bit of romance here, and a lot of reality.”


Deborah Cowen, author of The Deadly Life of Logistics, in turn says that “This is a book that should change the world.”

It should indeed!

Trade Winds is published by Manchester University Press; our listeners can order using the link below and get a 40% discount with the code GIFT40.

Ocean Conservancy, with Daniel Hubbell

In this episode,  you are in for a treat with our guest Daniel Hubbell

We first met Dan around a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate aboard Grain de Sail last spring in Brooklyn and interviewed him in October when he was the Shipping Emission Campaign Manager for Ocean Conservancy (since the interview, Dan started a new position as Policy Analyst at U.S. Department of State) 

Daniel Hubbell takes us on a tour of the International Maritime Organization where he spent a few years of his  career advocating for Ocean Conservancy.  

Thanks to Daniel insight, you will learn how the IMO is tackling GHG, what have been decided and how these new indexes (with acronyms such as EEDI and other CII) will translate in term of real solid change for an industry that has been seen as very difficult to move in the right direction to tackle the emergency of climate change. 

If you are naturally pessimistic about seeing one day governmental decision to address the pollution caused by the shipping industry, this episode will help you gain some optimism. 

For Daniel, even the mighty Jones Act represents a chance for a greener future in our ports and oceans. Just look at the Green Shipping Corridor announced by the United State and the Republic of Korea at the COP 27. Zero Emission Vessels will soon set SAIL! (one can dream, no?)

Solid Sail

In this new episode, we are thrilled to receive Nicolas Abiven.

Nicolas is a Senior Engineer at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique, the shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The 150 years old shipyard has launched some of the most iconic vessels, such as the Normandie, the Queen Mary 2 and the Splendor of the Sea to name a few. 

After launching a first concept ship equipped of sails, Eoseas, in 2009, les Chantiers have been developing a type of sails suitable for large cruise ships and for commercial ships. From this intensive research was born Solid Sail, a large, rigid sail made of composite rectangles assembled together, a system simple and efficient to harness wind energy. 

If you have visited Saint Nazaire or follow us on LinkedIn, you have seen their demonstrator in the middle of the busy shipyard. 

The Solid Sail setup is a mast, equipped with a balestron and a set of sails – mainsail and jib – constituted of rectangular panels made in composite. Using an electric winch, the Solid Sail can be raised and lowered in just a few minutes. When it’s raised, it uses the wind the same way any sailboat does. The mast can be tilted to allow the boat to pass under bridges when entering or leaving a harbor.

Nicolas takes the time from his busy schedule to present the concept, its applications, its market and why it’s important for the Chantiers to develop a wind assist technology for their customers. 

We recorded this interview from the Monaco Yacht Show and are sorry for some  noise in the background. 

Governors Island

We launch today Season 3 with an interview of Clare Newman, the president and CEO of  the Trust for Governors Island. Kat and Clare discuss many facets of sustainability and adaptability – New York City since Sandy, the current and future developments on Governors Island, its maritime facade and the many experiments that can be run from the Island. Governors Island, located South of Manhattan and East of the Statue of Liberty, was originally used by the Lenape as a hunting  & fishing camp, before becoming an US Army base and, from 1966 to the mid 90s, a base for 3,000 US Coast Guards. Since 2010, the Island is run by the Trust for Governors Island, a 501(c)(3) non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion cre­at­ed by the City of New York respon­si­ble for the plan­ning, oper­a­tions and ongo­ing devel­op­ment of Gov­er­nors Island.   Credit Julienne Schaer/The Trust for Governors Island

Science ROCS

In this new episode of Hoisting the Sail, we are delighted to welcome two guests from the Woods Hole Oceanographic InstituteKerry Ann Crehan-Strøm, the Marine Operations Coordinator for WHOI and Magdalena Andres, associate scientist physical oceanography and an expert on climate variability & impacts.

Magdalena and Kerry are speaking with our host Kat about Science RoCS, i.e. Research on Commercial Ships, an initiative launched to answer the need for increased ocean monitoring.

According to NOAA, 80% of the ocean is still unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored:  Science RoCs aims to fill in some gaps with the help of the  shipping industry.

Since Science RoCS started in 2021, companies such as CMA CGM, Pangaea Logistics Solutions and Wallenius Wilhelmsen have already helped deploy equipments and collected important datas.

Today there are an estimated 100 ocean-going research vessels worldwide and more than 50,000 commercial ships on the ocean at any given time: “it will be a game changer to have sensors on more commercial vessels”, Strom said. “Imagine what we could accomplish in terms of science advancement with even just a one percent of the commercial fleet equipped.”