Discover all crew members which were on board of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar during it’s around the world tour.
Initiator and Expedition Leader of PlanetSolar
23320 nautical miles covered on board
PlanetSolar’s 39-year-old founder is a man of conviction. Raphaël Domjan came up with the PlanetSolar concept, and he has done everything possible since to turn his dream into reality. Someone who genuinely dabbles in everything, Raphaël Domjan wears several hats and takes part in numerous activities that are closely connected to man and nature. He is an ambulance driver, a high mountain guide, a rescue specialist in perilous environments, and more. Passion is what drives him on!
The PlanetSolar project – an extraordinary technological and human challenge – is also an expression of the world view held by Raphaël Domjan and the team he has built around him: the belief that our planet deserves a better, brighter and less polluted future. Future technologies must be keenly investigated and solutions must be found. The project will help to motivate engineers and scientists to develop innovative technologies, inspire people around the world and show that the impossible can become possible.
16116 nautical miles covered on board
Patrick Marchesseau (43) is an experienced professional sailor who started his career at sea in 1988. He is a reserve officer of the French Navy. He has been sailing on different cruise vessels since 1991. Marchesseau was captain of the French cruise ship LE PONANT when it was kidnapped by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden in spring 2008.
Patrick Marchesseau decided to take part in the first solar boat expedition around the globe because he wants to prove that you can sail around the world using only energy generated by the sun. He says: “It’s a technological challenge I want to participate in.”
16409 nautical miles covered on board
Erwann Le Rouzic is an experienced professional sailor, starting his career at sea in 1991, sailing on different cruise vessels since 2001. Parallel to his professional career, he pursued his passion for the sea on sailboats. He calls on various and diverse sailing experiences as skipper and mate including National & International Sailing Races in France, offshore sailing including a 60 day Transatlantic crossing as Skipper in 2002, and ocean voyage from Canary Islands to France.Erwann Le Rouzic follows Patrick Marchesseau on PlanetSolar in New Caledonia for the next legs. For the continuation of the tour he will share the Master’s responsibility with Patrick.
Erwann Le Rouzic: « I am very excited to join this fantastic project that I see has a legacy to Jules Verne, the famous writer who was born in the Atlantic city of Nantes in France like me. I am thrilled and proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the change towards renewable energies. »
29065 nautical miles covered on board
Born in Rostock, Jens is part of a long line of seafarers and sailors, constantly seeking success in yacht races. Jens followed in his ancestors’ footsteps, starting out in an Olympic dinghy then progressing to 50 to 80-footers in round-the-world races and X boats.He trained at a Lübeck shipyard to become a boat builder, then moved to Knierim in Kiel, where he now works as a project manager. Jens has a strong marine heritage so he carries the title of “bosun” – or boatswain – on board the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar. The boatswain on board the old square riggers was the person in charge of running the show on deck – they had to know the ship inside out from bow to stern.
Jens was head of the construction team and project manager of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar at the boat building yard Knierim Yachtbau in Kiel, Germany. He was involved right from day one: from the initiation, when several design plans needed assessment, and the actual construction, to the launch and the first test drive. He put a total of 68,000 man-hours into the boat, mastering a real challenge for the shipyard to construct the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar within a remarkable 16 months. Jens says: “PlanetSolar was probably one of the most challenging and unusual projects we have ever had at the yard. After 16 months of intense work and thinking, the project turned into some kind of ‘special boat’, a special creation. I am delighted that I will actually experience the boat on the round-the-world trip now, so I can witness how everything works out at sea.”
29807 nautical miles covered on board
A real mountain boy, Christian grew up in the Swiss city of Thun overlooking the famous Eiger mountain. Nonetheless, he has been exposed to water, shipping and navigation ever since his father worked as a chief technician in the shipyard on Lake Thun. In and around the lake, he experienced the pleasures and challenges of yachting, hiking, diving and swimming.For 18 years, Christian trained actively and regularly for the 100 m and 200 m breaststroke, participating in the Swiss Championships and winning the bronze medal twice in the finals. In 2008, he graduated as an electrical engineer. Despite a new job offer, in the summer of 2010 he decided to join the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar expedition as head of energy management.
Christian says: “I have always taken a special interest in environmental and international affairs, seeking solutions that could bring about improvements. This curiosity combined with my profession as a technician makes the PlanetSolar project very interesting indeed. The mission of MS Tûranor PlanetSolar is to demonstrate and highlight potential technological solutions to our global energy issue. It could make a difference and I find this real-life case study extremely interesting.”
Team reporter, photographer, cook
5156 nautical miles covered on board
Oliver Goldenbow (43) was born in Hamburg. He brings his experience as nutritionist and photographer to the project. The possibility to see the beauty of our planet from this perspective was, in addition to the project idea, the main reason for coming on board. After knowing the crew better, his only regret was to not having done so sooner. He has been interested in global economic and environmental issues for a long time.
“I find it very enriching to discuss with people from the different countries we visit with the Tûranor, to learn how differently they perceive the pressing issues of our time. In addition to the technological, nautical and social challenges, this project offers a fantastic platform to inspire people, to discuss with them and to create hope for positive change.”
5430 nautical miles covered on board
Thomas comes from Brittany where he started his career as a sea fisherman. Adventure-hungry, he left aboard a big cruising sailboat for a few years. He finally settled in Noumea, New Caledonia, where we met him during one of our stopovers in May 2011. He was then captain of a tugboat that was navigating along the coasts of New Caledonia.
Having not quenched his thirst for adventure, he expressed the desire to get back to deep-sea navigation and to further increase his maritime knowledge on a brand new type of ship, Tûranor PlanetSolar, such a unique solar boat. So he joined us for the journey Australia – Philippines from June to July 2011 and then Sri Lanka – Persian Gulf from November to January 2012.
Having been aboard numerous different ships, he has developed numerous talents and contributes a lot to the life on board.
5336 nautical miles covered on board
Sailing the world’s oceans with the sun was an unforgettable journey to the future. As designer, I was fascinated by the design and the technical realisation of PlanetSolar. The journey through the Great Barrier Reef from Australia to Vietnam opened my eyes on the beauty of our world: the sky, the stars, the sun and all the surprises that nature has to offer.
Being on board the world’s largest solar ship was a dream. A unique and very special experience. I remember: one time, a fish jumped on the bridge making me almost fall down. That night, we had a very delicious barracuda dinner. Thanks to all who made this journey possible for me.
6965 nautical miles covered on board
Daniel was raised in a village near Kiel, where the MS Tûranor PlanetSolar was built. He was comprehensively trained in electrical systems for trains, before he was employed by ImTech Marine, an enterprise specialized in electrical system installations for the shipping industry.In his position with ImTech, Daniel was in charge of planning and installing the entire electrical system onboard of MS Tûranor. He installed the first ever cable on board, which will most likely now guide him into the longest “service arrangement” he has been engaged in during his career so far: accompanying the expedition of MS Tûranor.His employment duties so far have included standard maintenance and emergency calls into Shanghai, Vancouver, Seattle, Nice, Marseille, and Amsterdam.
Daniel: “This project is very special and an interesting challenge, quite different from my “normal” assignments. I am very happy to be involved in supporting the successful application of futuristic technology combined with various aspects of nature”.
8190 nautical miles covered on board
Mikaela, was born on one of the thousand islands of the southernmost archipelago of Finland. The place of birth and the fact of being born into a family with generations of seafarers and captains made it an easy choice to continue on the same path, going to sea.At an early age she started to combine her profession as merchant marine radio-officer with longer cruising trips on sailing boats racing across the Atlantic, cruising the Pacific and the final goal: competing twice in the former Whitbread Round the World Race (today’s Volvo Ocean Race). Her third Volvo she stayed ashore, being skipper and organiser for the build-up of the Swedish Volvo project ,”EF Education”, an all female crew that under her leadership won the prestigious Big Boat Class of Gotland Runt.
From sailing the monohulls she then extended her goal to the fast and furious multihulls, having the opportunity to participate in various regattas and record attempts with the likes of Laurent Bourgnon, Tracy Edwards and Steve Fossett. Having the fantastic opportunity to sail the world’s fastest boats, multihulls from 60 ft. such as Primagaz, to the giants like Maiden II and Playstation, in the position as “helmswoman”. “The fast sailing yachts and especially the multihulls are still close to my heart, but the innovation and technology of the yacht MS Tûranor PlanetSolar makes it a very interesting project, and I felt strongly that I wanted to be part of this project that is breaking new ground”, says Mikaela.
After living in France for many years, Mikaela moved to Portugal two years ago, where she is busy with her other great “passion”, horses, but now the horses will get a long winter break as Mikaela has packed her seabag to join the crew of MS Tûranor Planet Solar.