Départ de Fécamp et cap sur Londres avec une escale à Tilbury, le ‘Michel et Patrick’, aussi connu sous le nom de ‘Mil’Pat’ a hissé la grande voile dimanche 12 mai. Ancien langoustier de 22 mètres, restauré par une association d’insertion, il emmenait jusqu’ici des touristes en promenade en mer. Mais, ce weekend, il est chargé d’une toute autre mission: transporter du vin bio du producteur Olivier Cousin jusqu’à Londres et la Tamise avec la seule force du vent, en partenarait avec le salon, Real Artisan Wine (Raw) à Londres. Une façon de prouver que le vent “peut faire avancer les choses sans rien consommer”.
Il s’agit aussi de présenter une alternative face à de nouveaux défis énergétiques.
C’est le pari de Guillaume le Grand, affréteur et fondateur de TOWT (TransOceanic Wind Transport), fondé en 2009, qui croit dans l’avenir d’un tel commerce et de voir de futurs éco-voiliers transporter nos marchandises.
La question qui demeure est de savoir si le roulis des vagues contribuera à bonifier le vin mais à TOWT on dit que cette tradition a toujours permis aux Anglais de profiter des vins français et que la mer permet de préserver la rondeur et le côté fruité du vin tout en lui apportant une plus grande maturité.
A former lobster fishing boat is sailing from Fécamp, Normandy, to London, this weekend, carrying tons of organic wine.
With Astérix as its captain, the ‘Michel et Patrick’, also known as the Mil’Pat, has left on the quest of renewing with the British tradition of transporting wine by sail power.
Operational since 2010, the boat is also known as the “sail of hope” as it aims at helping social reinsertion for youngsters in difficulties through outings at sea providing a greater openness as well as opportunities.
But, on 12 May, the Mil’Pat went to sea with a different mission: to transport wine and goods to Britain, in order to show that the wind “can make things move without using anything”. This transport attracted an organic wine producer from Anjou, Olivier Cousin, who sees this as the continuity of his work in the vineyards. The aim was to bring the wine to the Real Artisan Wine (Raw) event in London, with a stop in Tilbury.
Renewing with transport and trade with the wind, has been Guillaume Le Grand’s bet, founder of TOWT (TransOceanic Wind Transport). He believes in the future of such a trade because it is entirely eco-friendly.
TOWT is a company from Brest, founded in 2009 with the idea of transporting organic goods by sail power. Willing to “anticipate on the energetic transition and prove the viability of a clean maritime transport in order to allow the construction of sailing cargos” facing the environmental challenges of our century.
The transport of wine to London with the label ‘shipped by sail power’ this weekend is a very important move towards renewing with a tradition which was essential to Great Britain. Before then, TOWT had already organised transport of wine, oil, salt as well as beer, rhum, tea, coffee, cacao and essentials oils to French ports or to Scandinavia, Germany, Dominican Republic or the Azores, but, never to their English neighbour.
The main question remaining is whether the movements of the waves in a sailing boat will contribute to making this slightly more expensive wine better.
In the United Kingdom, this way of transporting wine used to be a tradition for a nation who has enjoyed French wines, apparently improved by the movements of the sea, since centuries. The wine improves as it is meant to retain its roundness and fruitiness while gaining in maturity and, only the sea can operate such a miracle.
An eco-friendly trade which shows that we can transport goods without any impact on the environment. The company sails with a very symbolic message for the future of our planet and society as well as for the quality of our wine !