‘In Our Element’ Atlantic Rowing Team arrive at Sibs with a serious environmental message

  • In Our Element Atlantic Rowing Team row into the SIBS marina to explain why they are taking on the world’s toughest row.
  • By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean*.
  • The Centre of Enzyme Innovation (CEI) explains advances in enzyme technology which break down plastics

21ST SEPTEMBER 2022, SOUTHAMPTON – The In Our Element Atlantic Rowing team took a break in their training schedule to visit the Southampton International Boat Show for their final public appearance before they pack up the boat for La Gomera and the start of the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Challenge.

Appearing on the Foredeck Stage at the show, the four rowers, were joined by Professor Andy Pickford from the Centre of Enzyme Innovation at the University of Portsmouth, to help explain why they were taking on the world’s toughest row – 3000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean from La Gomera to Antigua.

The rowers talked of their intense training and final preparations for the challenge which begins in December. Covering topics from safety and survival, physical and mental preparation and managing long periods of time away from their families, however their overarching motivation is to tackle the crisis of plastic pollution in our oceans, citing the fact that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean*.

Professor Andy Pickford from the Centre of Enzyme Innovation at the University of Portsmouth, explained how they have engineered a natural enzyme that can break down PET plastic. The enzymes (PETase and MHETase) break the PET polymer into the chemical building blocks ethylene glycol (EG) and TPA. These can be used in the production of new PET products, thus contributing to the circular economy and reducing landfill from single-use plastic.

Hollie Luff, Business Systems Manager from Premier Marinas and Team Skipper explains: “Our challenge is simply a platform to shout about the crisis facing our oceans. We all work in the marine sector and are passionate about the marine environment. What we strive for is to not only clear up the plastic but break down the plastic and turn it into new products. That’s what this enzyme technology does.”

Premier Marinas are a platinum sponsor to the In Our Element Racing Team. Follow their progress via Premier Marinas social channels.

*Prediction from analysis by The Ellen Macarthur Foundation


About Premier Marinas:

Premier Marinas is owner and operator of ten prestigious marinas located on the South Coast including Sovereign Harbour (Eastbourne), Brighton, Chichester, Southsea, Port Solent, Gosport, Swanwick and Universal Marinas on the Hamble, Noss on Dart, and Falmouth. With over 5,500 wert and dry berths combined, Premier strives to be the finest marina operator in the UK, providing first-class services, quality boatyard facilities and exceptional service to its clients.

Premier Marinas is wholly owned by the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation that to help everyone benefit from science’s potential to improve health and save lives to improve health. Wellcome has a diversified investment portfolio and a long-term approach to investment, as a result of which it aims to spend around £1 billion a year supporting scientists and researchers in biomedicine, the humanities and the social sciences, and public engagement and education in these fields. Premier Marinas transfers all residual profits to Wellcome Trust each year via Gift Aid.


Amy Parker
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44(0)7851 259063