All Aboard! The Extreme E Off-Road Racers Will Use This Ship to Travel Around the World

After an extensive refurbishment process, Extreme E’s floating centerpiece, St. Helena, is setting sail for the championship’s inaugural race!

Extreme E’s first race will take place on the 3rd and 4th of April in Saudi Arabia, with everything and everyone getting there on the St. Helena vessel. The Extreme E Series is primarily an off-road EV rally race series that takes place in remote regions of the world – for a good cause. One of the many things this series will do is conduct these races with the smallest carbon footprint possible. Each race is a cross between WRC and Dakar in terms of how the race runs and where it takes place. All of the vehicles are fully electric.

The St. Helene before retrofitting (Images: Extreme E)
The St. Helena AFTER retrofitting.

You can read about the Extreme E Race series (here).

The St. Helena is a former mid-size cargo and postal ship that has, over the past two years, been completely retrofitted. This ship serves as the transport, hotel, base of command, and more for the Extreme E series. It’s also a research vessel that will work with scientists.

Last year, Extreme E in cooperation with Enel Foundation, the championship’s Founding Scientific Partner, invited scientists to apply for space on the ship to conduct research connected to advancing climate science in its on board laboratory during the voyage. This is in addition to the race crews and personnel. Part of the Extreme E challenge is to call attention to climate change, and find some solutions.

You can read more about the St. Helena (here).

In total, seven projects managed by 14 scientists have been selected to join the voyage. The seven projects will each focus on a different area of ocean research. Full details to be disclosed in the coming weeks.

The St. Helena has more: in addition to scientific studies, there are 62 cabins that can sleep up to 175 people, two lounges, an 80-seater restaurant, a 100-seater exterior deck, and an 80-seater presentation area. On top of that, there’s the capacity to carry 90 20-foot shipping containers. The St. Helena will have a crew of 50 people that will live and work onboard over the course of the voyage.  

“This has been a massive project and she really is unrecognizable from when we purchased her back in 2018. She is unmistakably part of Extreme E with the exterior branding, and the internal refit looks incredible. One of my favorite features of the ship is the creation of a science laboratory, which replaces the original swimming pool, and I’m delighted that from Saudi Arabia we will have a variety of scientists on-board conducting oceanic research projects.

The moment was marked in Liverpool, UK by Extreme E Founder and CEO Alejandro Agag who sprayed a celebratory bottle of Moët champagne, which had been specially personalized for the occasion, over the ship’s hull to toast the start of her new journey.” 

Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Extreme E

This week, the championship’s freight from teams and partners has been loaded onto the St. Helena.

Items aboard the ship include (among many other items & crew):

  • The race fleet of electric vehicles (ODYSSEY 21)
  • Continental tires
  • Tents that will form the team garages
  • The podium and starting gantry
  • TV and broadcast equipment
  • Three machines from 3devo to turn plastic waste into the championship’s trophies,
  • Two custom BRIG Eagle 8 carbon black support boats
  • A hydrogen fuel cell for zero-emission car charging created in collaboration with AFC Energy
  • All this along with a variety of Bosch tools.

Joining them will be Extreme E’s Impact Correspondent Izabela Rekiel, who is also an International DJ, environmental activist, Climate Reality Leader, and Project Zero Ambassador. Izy will document life on the St. Helena through regular posts on her social media channels – @izyofficial.

The St. Helena will sail through the Mediterranean to Saudi Arabia. The ship will arrive after two or three weeks. After Saudi Arabia, she will go back through the Mediterranean to Senegal, across to Greenland, down to the Amazon, and then further south to the final destination of the season in Tierra del Fuego, Argentine Patagonia.

Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.