Special Guest Speaker: Francesca Clapcich, 11th Hour Racing Team
Our Upper Elementary 1 class was visited this week by Francesca Clapcich, a member of the 11th Hour Racing Team. Francesca was able to give first-hand knowledge of how much plastic is in the ocean as she sailed right through one of the many gyres and was on a boat outfitted with sensors to measure microplastics. The Ocean Race was generous to host this virtual visit.
What is The Ocean Race?
More than just around the world, The Ocean Race is the “longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympic Games and America’s Cup.” It is “Racing with Purpose“; advocating for sustainability and the health of our oceans.
They provide excellent and free educational materials for students of various ages. The students have completed 2 of the 6 exercises and will continue their work after the New Year. They will follow the race once it starts in January.
Francesca Clapcich, 11th Hour Racing Team
Francesca Clapcich is a sailor on the 11th Hour Racing Team, one of the sailing teams competing in the upcoming 2023 The Ocean Race. She graduated from the Nautical Institute of Trieste and San Raffaele University with a Sport Science degree and was a First Senior Airman in the Italian Air Force.
Francesca is a two-time Olympian with the Italian Sailing Federation and sailed in the Volo Ocean Race in 2017. It was that 2017 race when she rounded Cape Horn, a highlight of her sailing adventures! Rounding Cape Horn is noted as the most treacherous, skill-testing sailing route in the world. Not only is she a sailor, but she is a wife and new mom, and an aunt to two of our Upper Elementary students.
Thank you, Francesca, for sharing your experiences with our class!
Reflections from the UE1 Students
I find it quite inspiring that so many people are coming together to do their part in fixing the damage done to our world. I bet when the ice on my lake melts in spring I can set up some kind of system to collect litter, that would be cool.
Something that I learned from the online visit was that we should all do our part in cleaning up the oceans, land and pick up and stop wasting plastic and trash.
Now that I’ve heard your presentation I was inspired to help reduce the amount of plastic that we have in our ocean, it made me so sad to hear about the animals that have died because of us.
Thank you for coming and showing me that even racing can help the planet. I was so excited when I heard you were coming here to teach us about life on a boat at the ocean. So keep doing what you do best and help pave the way for the next generation of helpers so we all together as one team to save the planet!
Thank you for teaching us about the Ocean Race and what it is like to be on the boat. It was fun to learn about the race and all the plastic you saw. I didn’t know that there was so much microplastic in the ocean and that definitely inspired me to clean up any trash that I see outside.