Glastonbury festival organiser Michael Eavis has been on the bridge of Greenpeace’s new Rainbow Warrior III – on the first test run up the Thames in London. Eavis, once upon a time a merchant seaman before taking over the running of Worthy Farm, was joined by wife Liz, daughter Emily, Emily’s husband Nick and her son George, Michael’s grandson, born just before this year’s festival. The boat will now undergo sea trials.
This is the third Rainbow Warrior– the first, notoriously, was sunk in New Zealand in 1985 by French commandos to prevent it hampering nuclear tests in a Polynesian atoll. The second has just been retired to Bangladesh, where it serves as a hospital ship. Rainbow Warrior III is bigger, greener and, for the first time, purpose built, which the organisation says will showcase green shipbuilding technologies. The huge A-frame mast system can carry considerably more sails than a conventional mast on a vessel of this size, meaning that the ship will travel, as far as possible, under wind power. The ship has 1200 Square metres of sail. The new ship will have both diesel and electric engines but these are expected to be in use for less than 10% of its time at sea and the aim is to drastically reduce emissions and to burn far less fuel and the main propulsion will be by wind. Systems to recycle the engine’s heat and waste “grey” water, and a hull designed to minimise friction in the water, add to its green credentials.
The Good, the Bad and the Queen, featuring Greenpeace supporters Damon Albarn and Paul Simonon, formerly of the Clash, gave a performance on-board for Greenpeace.
See the video here http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/10/greenpeace-launches-rainbow-warrior-glastonbury and pictures and a video here here http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk/news/rainbow-warrior-photos