Published: Tuesday, 28 July 2015

After a tumultuous crossing of the Pacific due to the cyclones in the region, the Race for Water Odyssey (R4WO) has reached Asia.

Race For Water Odyssey Reaches Japan 2

(Photo: Peter Charaf/Race for Water 2015)

Initiated by the Race for Water foundation, the R4WO is a unique expedition that aims to draw up the first global assessment of plastic pollution in the ocean by visiting island beaches situated in the five trash vortexes.

In less than 300 days, over 40,000 nautical miles will be traveled, along with 11 scientific stopovers and nine outreach stopovers, involving a total of 13 countries.

Arriving in Tokyo after more than 20 days of difficult navigation, which included some detours and an emergency mooring, the R4WO team prepares for a new challenge.

Race For Water Odyssey Reaches Japan

(Photo: Christophe Launay/Race for Water 2015)

After an intense sampling of the beaches in Hawaii and Guam, where the amount of plastic found reached record-breaking numbers, including debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami, the main objective of this stopover in Japan will be to raise public awareness and meet with the scientific community that works in this field.

“We are eager to start this new phase of the expedition in Asia,” says R4WO Project Leader and Foundation President Marco Simeoni. “In order to shore up this corpus, and to reinforce the community, Japan, and Asia in general, are crucial steps for the R4WO, since they are located at the heart of the problem. Establishing contacts in this region of the world and learning more about their recycling and waste management methods will prove to be very useful for our future campaign in 2016.”

Race For Water Odyssey Reaches Japan 1

(Photo: Peter Charaf/Race for Water 2015)

The MOD70 Race for Water will leave Yokohama, Japan at the end of July to travel towards Shanghai, China before heading for the islands and archipelagos of Koror and Rodrigues, to continue her adventures in fighting plastic pollution in the oceans.