Sydney To Hobart Features First Electric Yacht Named 'J-Bird'

Renewable vessel ready for action

Article heading image for Sydney To Hobart Features First Electric Yacht Named 'J-Bird'

A renewable yacht will take part in this year's Sydney to Hobart race for the first time, ahead of the 77th edition of the world-famous race. 

Ocean Crusaders group have launched 'J-Bird', with co-founder Ian Thomson wanting to show there's no need for diesel engines - which power the likes of Wild Oats and Black Jack. 

"We just want to prove that we don't need fossil fuels to go sailing," Thomson said.

"There is a cleaner way to go out there and enjoy our waterways and especially in a race when all you're using diesel engines for is charging batteries."

Thomas argues the electric yacht contains all the requirements to help partake in the great race, without impacting the state of our climate.

"We don't need that, we've got solar panels, wind generators, hydro generators, we can use the elements to recharge our power so that we can actually communicate," Thomson added.

At the centre of the yacht, the J-Bird is powered by six 22kg batteries. 

While it's the first edition as a renewable vessel, the J-Bird has competed in the race twice before using a diesel engine but failing to finish on both attempts.

Co-founder, and J-Bird co-skipper, Annika Thomson said entering the race this year is a step in the right direction.

"It is a big deal and we are nervous, very nervous," Ms Thomson said.

"We are on board a yacht that we spent three years building ourselves.

"Just getting to the start line is a win for us, we are very, very excited."

The annual Sydney to Hobart race begins on Boxing Day and runs through to New Year's Eve.

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13 December 2022

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