Esimit Europa – Sailing Project to Unite Europe.

Esimit Europa sponsored by Gazprom

When we first put together our Facebook Chart, we were contacted to take a look at Esimit Europa. The yacht racing project has about 4,600 ‘likes’ on Facebook, and this week, the team announced the team that would compete on the yacht in 2011 under the slogan – ‘All Europeans together on the same boat.’

The Esimit Europa project began in  1995, as an idea to use sailing as a symbol of unity and cooperation between two border cities of Nova Gorica (Slovenia) and Gorizia (Italy). The Esimit Europa yacht is the only boat in the world to sail under the European flag, and the project has some powerful political allies including the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.

The projects shows that sailing as a platform can be used for all kinds of ends. Not just selling products, or entertaining clients, but being a symbol to bring people together around and a catalyst for building long term growth and awareness of programs such as the European Energy online movement.

Esimit Europa enjoys the support of both the worlds of diplomacy and business. The platform is aimed at enabling dialogue about crucial issues for the development of European societies.

Sponsors of the project include Gazprom and Medot Sparkling Wine.

Now, some of Europe’s best sailors have been announced as crew for the 2011 season. The crew was introduced at an event in Monaco attended by Prince Albert of Monaco Albert II and other VIPs.

HSH the Prince of Monaco said in a key-note speech:

“Sailing is a unique and noble sport; it promotes a strong and united team, encouraging dialogue between crew members. As President of the Yacht Club de Monaco I am proud that our members defend these core values of solidarity, friendship and cooperation. Today, on this special occasion of the launch of Esimit Europa 2, I wish the owner and his crew every success in realising their future goals and to them representing a united and successful Europe at the largest regattas all over the world.”

The project has announced further challenges for the future, in sports as well as in the field of diplomacy. Igor Simčič, the project founder and owner of the Esimit Europa 2 yacht, announced:

“Going beyond Europe is among our long-term plans. For the moment, we will focus on doing our best to improve our results even further in Europe’s most important regattas. Furthermore, our efforts to foster collaboration among European peoples in ways other than sports continue.”

The crew features names from the America’s Cup and top level offshore racing.

Jochen Schümann said:

“Sailing has always united peoples and continents. We are Germans, Slovenians, Italians, French, Spanish or whatever, but everyone is driving the same boat, the same Europe, and we are driving the continent together in this global development.”

Sidney Gavignet, who is no stranger to long term sailing  projects involving governments, communities and long term goals, being involved with Oman Sail said:

“Sailing, to me, equals to sharing: each time you sail, you share something with those you are working with and with those who are watching you. Thus, for me it is very important to be on a boat that does not only sail for victories, but also carries a greater message.”

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