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Sail cargo vessel visits

By Herald Express  |  Posted: October 20, 2011

IN PORT: Tres Hombres in Brixham harbour Andy Styles

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SAIL cargo ships could be returning to Brixham following a successful visit by the Tres Hombres.

The 15-crew ship loaded three cubic metres of Avocet organic ales, which is bound for Brittany, and off-loaded Caribbean goods destined for the Devon market while residents and visitors had the chance to climb on board the vessel and take a look.

The ship's contractor, Trans Oceanic Wind Transport, a firm hoping to make wind-powered cargo shipping commercially viable again.

Guillaume Le Grand, the founder of TOWT, said with the price of fuel rising, there would come a point when wind transport would become cheaper than traditional shipping.

He said: "I think it went well. Everyone in Brixham welcomed us. We have shown what we are capable of doing and what we want to do. We have taken a lot of contacts with people who are keen to export their goods by sail power.

"It is still early days and the dust has not yet settled. But this was not a one-off. We're hoping to make visits every three or four months."

Mr Le Grand said it would take about 24 hours to cross the Channel by sail ship but time was not of the essence when carrying non-perishable goods.

Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition Town movement, visited the Tres Hombres.

He said going back to sail power was progress and a positive way to look to the future.

He said: "I don't see it as going back to the old days. Given the way petrol prices are going up, we need to find appropriate technology for our time.

"The work the Tres Hombres is doing is very much pioneering."

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  • rakesh01  |  October 22 2011, 2:50PM

    Well said wildswimmer. Fully agree with all the excellent points made. We visited the ship too and found the whole experience fantastic with a welcoming and knowledgeable crew. Hope they'll return to our port soon.

  • wildswimmer  |  October 20 2011, 3:44PM

    I felt very fortunate to visit the Tres Hombres and listen to the very knowledgeable Captain and his crew. Like it or not, oil supplies are dwindling and cheap oil is a thing of the past, sustainable transport and trade will be necessary to take us well into the new millennium, we need intelligent forward thinking politicians to do all they can to back sustainable transport options.