NEW YORK, Sept. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Prince Albert II, His Serene Highness of Monaco, will announce Friday at New York's Explorers Club first details of the World Sky Race—a race around the world by airships (blimps, dirigibles, and zeppelins). Winner's prize: $5 million.
Explorers Club member Prince Albert, Google co-founder Serge Brin, and Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson are all among the world figures who now see airships as a way to reduce global warming: Airships are the greenest form of aviation. They need far less fuel to fly than comparable aircraft, and they leave only a tiny carbon footprint.
Prince Albert calls the World Sky Race, "an event that I warmly welcome and encourage," since it will draw attention to airships' potential to reduce carbon emissions around the world.
The Race will consist of 16 stages, starting in London September 27, 2024. Airship Teams, each representing a different nation, will then race to circle the earth, with the finish line being Paris. The winner gets $5,000,000.
Don Hartsell—Race Commissioner, Managing Director, and Explorers Club member—says the Race can be seen by more than 2 billion people as the airships fly over cities including London, Berlin, Monaco, Rome, Cairo, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hanoi, Tokyo, Anchorage, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, New York, Paris, and more than 130 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, making this the largest sports-entertainment event ever seen.
By comparison, the Tour de France draws 12.5 million spectators; the London Olympics sold 8.25 million tickets, and the Volvo Ocean race was seen by 6.2 million.
The Explorers Club, founded in 1904 to organize the first expedition to the North Pole, is famous for historic firsts. Past Club members have been:
The first African American woman to pilot a commercial spacecraft, Explorers Club member Dr. Sian Proctor, will captain the Explorers Airship in the Race. Says Proctor, "It's a real pleasure to be involved in this amazing global endeavor and to get people around the world to think about how we collectively need to work together toward a more sustainable future." Adds Hartsell, "We are immensely pleased that Dr. Proctor is involved. Her journey, her deeds, and her words all serve as inspiration."
The Race will demonstrate that sustainable, clean aviation will be both practical and profitable. "I am pleased to be involved with the World Air League as they are embracing the idea that we must find new ways of doing things to move toward sustainable aviation," says Dr. Bertrand Piccard, Member of the Explorers Club and World Air League Advisor on Solar Power.
The Race will be followed by school children around the world. Explains Hartsell: "On our educational Race internet portal, the World Air League will organize daily classroom plans for the 2024-25 school year, so that it will be available for use around the world for the next generation to experience lively geography, history up-close, languages with smiles, and science with experimentation. This Race will provide a shared educational bond for the next generation, as they prepare for their missions in life. Memorable education is based on fun—and fun is renewable energy."