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AkzoNobel celebrates winning Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Auckland – Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

Editorial – April / May 2018

What does a Volvo Ocean Race competitor have to do with the future of the shipping industry? It’s all about slippery paint, big data and undersea drones.

As the editor of FTD, I spend much of my day collating material, reading press releases and sourcing good stories from writers, then using my skill and best judgment to polish these into articles that readers will find interesting, informative and sometimes entertaining. It’s not often I get the time to actually write something from scratch.

When the opportunity to conduct an interview does arise, I try to do as much homework beforehand as possible – do some background research into the company, its products and services; source some recent news items or look up mentions in social media. This usually gives me a ‘feel’ for how the story is going to play out, and hence the types of questions I’ll have to ask to elicit the information I need.

So it was that I turned up at the Volvo Ocean Race Village in early March for a presentation by team AkzoNobel. I knew very little about the boat, other than they had won the leg to Auckland, and interest in the vessel and crew (with a couple of Kiwis onboard) was high. As a keen yachtie, I was eager to hear about their experiences.

The team had announced they had joined Turn the Tide on Plastic by installing equipment that would collect information on microplastic levels and other ocean data for the next legs of the race (a story we covered in the last edition of FTD). What would this mean for them in terms of changes to the boat? This was to be the main focus of my article.

However, what eventuated was a completely different story (which you can read here) involving slippery paint, big data and undersea drones – a development which has huge ramifications for the future of the shipping industry.

As I write this, the teams are departing Auckland for the leg through the Southern Ocean to Brazil. We wish them all the best!

Until next time …
Lynne Richardson, editor

lrichardson@astonpublishing.co.nz


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