The Poseidon Trophy winners should leave Gibraltar on Wednesday 31 July for the start of a magnificent maritime and human adventure: a year-long kayaking voyage to meet the peoples and treasures of the Mediterranean.
February 2013. DCNS awarded the second prize of its Poseidon Trophy competition to two engineering students for their “Mare Nostrum” project, supported by the UTC (Université Technologie Compiègne) university of engineering. This competition gives recognition to associative projects based on a passion for the sea and the DCNS Vision 2020+: the sea is the planet’s future.
Louis Wilmotte is studying for a professional degree at UTC and Douglas Couet is an oceanography MSc student at UPMC (Université Pierre et Marie Curie). They applied jointly in the frame of a partnership between their two universities.
The jury was impressed by the originality of their project and the challenge it represents: a tour of the Mediterranean in kayak covering the 10,000 km separating the Strait of Gibraltar from the Bosphorus Strait.
A sporting challenge with a scientific and outreach dimension
Over and above its sporting dimension, the “Mare Nostrum” project is also a human, scientific and educational adventure focused on the Mediterranean and its inhabitants.
Over the course of their expedition, Douglas and Louis will collect specific data on behalf of researchers. Samples of water and toxic algae, hydrophone recordings of whale songs… the information they collect will allow the scientific community to undertake new research in the areas of marine biology and oceanography.
An additional aim of their voyage is to raise the awareness of the populations they meet with regard to biodiversity and the challenges of the marine environment. During their stopovers in the different countries they cross, the two students will visit schools to present their project to the younger generations.
Shared vision of the future
“The 21st century will be the century of the sea”: the two “Mare Nostrum” kayakists share the convictions of DCNS. They believe in the potential of the sea and are keen to inform and raise the awareness of the public of the need to preserve the oceans and develop their potential.
And the year that stretches before them will most certainly be maritime. As Douglas and Louis set off from Gibraltar for the start of a unique human adventure, the sea awaits them with fascinating encounters both in the water and on land. Encounters that DCNS will follow very closely to share with the duo the precious learnings offered up by the sea.
Find out more about the “Mare Nostrum” project: