Go Backspacer Go! PJ sponsors turtle in the Great Turtle Race

by Kathy Davis on April 16, 2009

Eleven leatherback sea turtles are taking part in the Great Turtle Race, speeding from Canada to nesting beaches of the Caribbean. The turtles are tagged with state-of-the-art satellite tracking devices that allow us to follow their incredible 3,700-mile (6,000-kilometer) journey.

The data collected from the turtles during the migration will help scientists in their own race to save this endangered species. Which turtle will reach the finish line first? Which will dive the deepest or go the farthest afield? Will they all make it to the end? Follow the turtles as they race across the Atlantic!

PJ’s turtle is named Backspacer.  Stone is one of Conservation International’s  scheduled guest bloggers , and the Race officially launches Thursday, April 16th, at 11am EST at www.GreatTurtleRace.org  You can follow Backspacer’s progress here.

About the race, Stone says:  “The fate of sea turtles, the global marine environment and humanity itself are inextricably tied to the choices we make today. Pearl Jam is happy to be a part of the Great Turtle Race and we are encouraging all our fans and friends to join the fun, cheer on our turtle Backspacer and help save the seas.”

Backspacer has been training hard and bulking up for race, and hopes to best rival Nightswimmer, sponsored by R.E.M.

Turtle Name: Backspacer (Female)
150.5 cm (5 ft) Width: 113 cm (3 ft 9 in) Weight: 375 kg (825 lbs)Backspacer Turtle Illustration

Illustration: Chris Rooney
Sponsor: Pearl Jam
Coach: Eric Shanteau

Backspacer has a lot on her mind. She joined the Race for the sake of the journey, to take to the road and to think about where she’s been and where she’s headed next. She started the Race from the most northerly point of any of her competitors, deep in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Backspacer’s sponsors, the legendary rock band Pearl Jam, are hoping that she can win the Race and find her way home in time for the release of their new album in the Fall!

Backspacer’s coach, Olympic swimmer Eric Shanteau, has been helping her to focus on moving ahead and taking deep breaths during her long sojourn south.

Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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