dsnm are keen supporters of strong women in the superyacht industry, and as such would like to introduce you to Ella Hibbert who is campaigning to become the first person to solo circumnavigate the Arctic Circle, non-stop.
To set the scene, so you can understand the desire behind her challenge, we dive into her background. As a child, Ella grew up sailing little Lasers’ and Optimists’ (single handed sailing dinghies), and later spent time on her father’s Moody Yacht in the Mediterranean.
Following her education, she took a step back from sailing to pursue an equestrian career, another childhood passion of hers. This saw her travel to places like Australia, to manage a racing stable, and Germany, where she worked for Olympic dressage rider, Tanya Seymour.
However, missing the water, Ella returned to the seas, taking a job on M/Y Trident, where she worked for 4 years as a deckhand and a divemaster. Ella left her last superyacht crew role in 2020 and is now one of the youngest female RYA Yachtmaster Instructors, working full time for a teaching school called Sail Squad based in Port Hamble, UK. Sail Squad have given her a sabbatical from work to complete this challenge which is planned to take place May – August 2024.
The Challenge ahead
Now at the beginning stage of her campaign to become the first person to solo circumnavigate the Arctic Circle, non-stop, she is reaching out to potential sponsors to help her get to the start line of the voyage
Initially Ella’s challenge was to complete The Northwest Passage, a well-known route that goes along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. However recent developments in global warming and changes to the polar caps means that she has now decided to circumnavigate the full Arctic Circle, a route that was previously impossible. If she can make it around in a single season alone, it proves the point that the ice coverage is depleting.
Ella is hoping to inspire people to get involved in the fight against climate change and to think about their daily consumption habits. She also wants yachtsmen and women to look at more sustainable equipment for their boats.
Equipment and Support
Ella has found her ‘dream boat’ currently for sale and the owner is happy to sell it to her for 50% of the market value to support the campaign. She needs to raise money, fast, so that this boat doesn’t go.
To support her own campaign, she is intending to add solar panels, wind vanes, hydro generators and a water maker onboard plus other sustainable technology.
She is looking for financial sponsorship to help purchase the boat, as well as sponsorship in terms of equipment after purchasing the vessel.
Boat folk have offered free shipyard and marina fees, once the boat has been purchased and other companies have come forward regarding equipment, but currently the focus is funding the boat.
The dream boat is a 38ft steel-hull ketch, Bruce Roberts design, based in Port Solent. She needs to raise £25,000 for this vessel and currently has raised 16% of this, at the time of writing (mid-October).
dsnm are supporting Ella by donating all navigational charts needed for her expedition; as strong believers in both supporting fundraising and awareness for great causes, but also to encourage and inspire other women to follow in Ella’s footsteps.
Ella hopes to motivate the next generation to continue striving for a better future for our oceans. She has dedicated her sail to Polar Bears International and Ocean Conservancy – two charities who are doing important work to protect the future of the Arctic ecosystem in the face of the current climate crisis.
By setting a world record of completing a sail that’s never been done before, she will not only be raising awareness for global warming and man-made climate change.
How you can help
Sponsorship packages are available in all shapes and sizes from financial to equipment. Sponsors will have their company logo added to the hull of the yacht and clothing, which will all be heavily documented from now until 2024/2025. You would be visible on the dedicated website and all social media platforms (listed below).
As an expedition sponsor, your business will have the unique opportunity to raise its profile and gain exposure at an international level. As well as an amazing human adventure, the expedition will highlight the worlds changing environment in one of its most fragile regions.
Follow Ella’s journey
If you are interested to learn more about Ella, the charities she is supporting, and the challenge, please contact her through one of these channels: