Each year the International SeaKeepers Society presents the SeaKeepers Award to an individual dedicated to marine conservation. Next month, the SeaKeepers Award will be given to Agnès Troublé, a.k.a. the fashion designer agnès b, recognizing her work with the 118-foot (36-meter) sailing yacht Tara.
In October 2003, Troublé, along with a partner, Etienne Bourgois, acquired the schooner Seamaster, which was previously owned by the late Sir Peter Blake. Blake was a renowned sailor, having won the Whitbread Round the World Race and led New Zealand to America’s Cup victories, among other things. Blake bought and christened Seamaster in 1999 to monitor global warming and pollution for the United Nations. Unfortunately, he was murdered aboard while anchored off Brazil in December 2001.
A few months after acquiring Seamaster, rechristening her Tara, Bourgois and Troublé launched Tara Expeditions. The team is carrying out efforts much in the same spirit as Blake did. They are providing samples and data to the global scientific community through an affiliation with the United Nations Program for the Environment. The goal is to increase the general public’s awareness of the world’s ecosystems and especially educate children.
So far Tara and Tara Expeditions have concluded eight trips, including Greenland, Antarctica, Patagonia, and, the Arctic. They’re not done yet. Next May, Tara sets a course from Europe for the Arctic Ocean. Depending on how thick the ice is, Tara will venture through the Northwest and Northeast Passages, notoriously challenging bodies of water. The scientists aboard will be supplementing data collected in 2009, this time specific to plastics and pollution. Then, in 2014, Tara will explore the Pacific Ocean, researching coral reefs. Luc Jacquet, the filmmaker who wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning documentary March of the Penguins, will be among the people aboard.
These and more are the reasons why the International SeaKeepers Society will be honoring Troublé with the SeaKeepers Award. It will be presented at the Bal de la Mer on September 20 in Monaco, which is during the Monaco Yacht Show. She will further be honored as part of the organization’s dual emphasis on the themes of Women in Yachting and Women in Ocean Advocacy this year. “We are excited that agnès b will join our other remarkable female recipients of the SeaKeepers Award including Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Dr. Sylvia Earle,” Patty Elkus, chair of the Host Committee and an International SeaKeepers Society board member, says.
Editor’s note: Megayacht News editor Diane M. Byrne is a member of the Honorary Host Committee for this year’s Bal de la Mer. To receive an invitation to the event and award ceremony, please email us.