The Earth has a new champion. This afternoon at a small ceremony in Bremerhaven, Germany, our Executive Director Kumi Naidoo, christened the world’s first purpose-built, crowd-bought, eco-sleek sailing vessel, the new Rainbow Warrior.
The smashing of glass signalled a new chapter in the battle for the future of our oceans, forests and climate. As Kumi said, “The new Rainbow Warrior is the perfect ship with which navigate the perfect storm of ecological, economic and democratic crises lashing our world.”
If you’re one of the 100,000 donors who bought a bolt, an action boat, an anchor, a chart, a soap dish, a piece of her sail or the whole of her wheelhouse, we’d like to say a massive thank you. We said the Earth needed a new warrior, and we thrilled that so many of you answered that call.
This is no ordinary sailing ship: it is a sleek, efficient eco-vessel, every detail crafted with sustainability in mind, from the silicon-based paint on her hull to the FSC wood of her cabins, to the onboard recycling systems and biological sewage treatment. The new Rainbow Warrior will primarily be powered and propelled by the sun and wind. It has a revolution mast design, allowing her to carry more sail, and has all of the latest digital equipment allowing us to broadcast video from remote locations and tweet from any ocean.
The first ship to bear her name was a rusting fishing trawler scraped and sanded down by hand and painted with a dove and rainbow. She made history saving whales, stopping radioactive waste dumping, and sailing straight into the forbidden zone around nuclear weapons testing sites.
Her voyage into history was cut short by two limpet mines in 1985, when frightened politicians in Paris ordered French agents to sink the ship in New Zealand, believing this would stop our protests against nuclear weapons tests. It was a massive miscalculation..A supporter in Auckland coined the phrase that became a motto of opposition: “You can’t sink a rainbow.” When we returned to Moruroa in a refurbished sister ship, the legacy of the Rainbow Warrior as a parable of persistence was sealed.
As a purpose-built campaigning ship, the new Rainbow Warrior will confront environmental criminals across the world, she will investigate and expose destructive activities, but perhaps most of all will provide a beacon of hope and an inspiration to action wherever she goes.
Thank you again, you have given the world a new and stronger Rainbow Warrior.