Sailing towards preservation

  16.02.2024 Sports & Leisure, Charity & Support, GYC - Gstaad Yacht Club, NewsUpdate

Protecting the Mediterranean’s Rich Heritage

Thirteen years ago, the GYC embarked on an ambitious journey with the launch of the Centenary Trophy during Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, a revered sailing regatta for century-old boats. Recently, the organisation proudly introduced its 100th-anniversary project aimed at safeguarding the Mediterranean’s delicate ecosystem.

Initiated by two partners, Global Insights Magazine and Woods Communications, the GYC supports the non-profit multimedia and youth-focused venture that originated from one of the Centenarian Yachts. This initiative not only addresses the pressing threats facing the Mediterranean but also extends its reach to the world’s oceans. From the impact of climate change to the preservation of cultural heritage, the project tackles a spectrum of issues crucial to our planet’s well-being.

Partnering with renowned organisations such as NexStep, World Ocean Observatory, UNEP’s Plan Bleu, Cartooning for Peace, and The Explorers’ Club, the initiative takes a multi-faceted approach to raising awareness and inspiring action. Leading the charge are dedicated individuals and club members who provided the project’s initial ’startup’ grant. By engaging youth in the dialogue, the initiative ensures a sustainable path forward, uniting communities and stakeholders alike.

Central to this endeavour is the iconic WIKI, a 103-year-old wooden sailing ketch with a rich history. Over the next three years, the WIKI will serve as a platform for exploration, shedding light on the changes witnessed over the past century and projecting future trends. From the erosion of UNESCO heritage sites to the threat of plastic pollution and forest fires, urgent action is imperative to preserve these vital coastal areas for generations to come.

To fuel this ambitious undertaking, funding is sought from sponsors, foundations, and individual contributors. All created content, ranging from articles to films and photographic essays, will be freely accessible, particularly to educational institutions and international organisations. Targeting diverse audiences, including corporations, students, and tourists, the initiative aims to galvanise support for sustainable solutions before it’s too late.

With the Greater Mediterranean serving as a critical maritime hub, encompassing 46 000 km of coastline and unparalleled cultural heritage sites, the initiative pledges to explore all facets of the region. Through strategic action points focusing on carbon emissions reduction, pollution prevention, and the promotion of circular economies, the project strives to ensure a thriving future for the Mediterranean and beyond.

Among the multimedia venture’s action points to help save the Med:
1. Reduce carbon emissions and adapt to climate change
2. Halt environmental pollution, especially from plastics
3. Harness the power of independent media, credible storytelling and education to effect change
4. Promote yachting with a purpose and sailors’ active engagement
5. Support circular economies, sustainable tourism, and protection of cultural heritage.

The Greater Mediterranean stands as the world’s fifth-largest economy, valued at 5.6 trillion USD according to WWF. 24 countries border its shores, and with the inclusion of the Black and Red Seas, a dozen more nations, spanning from Ukraine to Saudi Arabia, play a vital role in its ecosystem. Beyond traditional Mediterranean states, non-coastal countries like Switzerland, Austria, Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia contribute significantly through freshwater sources such as the Rhone and Nile rivers, further emphasising the interconnectedness of this expansive region.


Year 1920
Shipyard Werke Kiel
Naval Architect Herbert Wustrau
Rig Marconi Ketch
LOA: 19.8

Designed in Kiel in 1920 for cruising in the North Sea and to accompany racing yachts to events such as the 1938 Olympics in Amsterdam – WIKI is one of the very few wooden yachts of her vintage and tonnage hailing from Germany that survived WWII and is still sailing. Since 1984, when her current owner, Tom Woods, at the time a young American filmmaker of 33, discovered her, WIKI has sailed the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and participated for the last three years in the GYC Centenary Trophy.

Image Title


Would you like to read more?

Yes. I am a subscriber

Don't have an account yet? Register now from here

Yes. I need a subscription.

Subscription offers