2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Takes Clean Regattas Pledge

Commits to Environmentally Friendly Race and Event Practices. Volunteer and internship opportunities exist for regattas Clean Regattas Green Team.

 

Newport, Rhode Island- April 6, 2011 - Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the sailing and boating community, announces that organizers of the 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week (April 14-17, 2011) - The Charleston Ocean Racing Association (CORA) and the South Carolina Maritime Foundation - have committed to Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas certification. Sailors for the Sea is also seeking volunteers and interns to help implement the Clean Regattas program during race week and to take part in on-the-ground action to protect oceans and local waters.

Sailors for the Sea educates and engages boaters around the country to protect oceans and local waters through a series of education and action programs. Clean Regattas is a free program that provides independent, third-party verification that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect the waters upon which people sail.

2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is one of North America's biggest multi-class regattas. It has evolved from a fun, regional event to one of the most anticipated international regattas on the racing calendar that attracts teams from across the US and Europe. Motivated by growth in attendance and increased attention to environmental consciousness, organizers of this year's Charleston Race Week committed to formally improving upon the event's already established eco-conscious practices.

According to Danny Havens, Charleston Race Week logistics manager, "South Carolina Maritime Foundation is constantly striving to follow environmentally sound practices through its daily operations, business practices and even through its education programs aboard the Spirit of South Carolina tall ship. Partnering 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week with Sailors for the Sea and their Clean Regattas program seemed to be a natural course in expanding our concern for the safety of our environment, and we are proud to form this relationship. We encourage all of our racers and volunteers to support Sailors for the Sea in their efforts to ensure Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is as environmentally conscious as possible. Steps must be taken to preserve our waters, and we're thankful that Sailors for the Sea has brought this element to the regatta."

Clean Regatta Certification Criteria and Program Benefits
Sailors for the Sea, using the resources and materials it has developed, works with each participant to determine the best ways to make simple, effective changes that will preserve the beauty and quality of the local waters.

The Clean Regattas program is available for all interested yacht clubs, regattas and sailing programs, and is found worldwide. By participating in the program, clubs and regattas can realize a range of immediate economic benefits including:

  • saving money by reducing reliance on plastic bottles, fossil fuels, and disposable products
  • getting discounts on environmentally friendly products through the Clean Regattas program
  • reducing excess spending by anticipating regulations and avoiding abrupt and costly changes due to new laws and related cleanup efforts
  • attracting new sponsors, donors, investors, and foundations for non-profit clubs through the positive awareness of the Clean Regattas efforts

Past successes include Nantucket Race Week's reusable water bottle initiative that resulted in a 90% decrease in their use of plastic disposable bottles and the creation of a glass-recycling program at the British Virgin Islands Spring Regatta.

With three levels of certification (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) available, participantsselect their level of engagement, and work to fulfill the related certification requirements by first forming a Clean Regattas committee for the event or a permanent committee for all club/organization governance and events to oversee the certification criteria. The criteria relates to:

  • trash and recycling collection and disposal
  • discharge
  • oil spill prevention
  • green cleaning products and bottom paint usage
  • bottom cleaning and boat maintenance
  • global warming and carbon offsets
  • biofuel conversion
  • use of recycled materials in regatta awards

The Power of Volunteers 
Unique to this year's regatta is the formation of a volunteer- and intern-based Clean Regatta green team. Consisting of two daily shifts each day, team members will partake in a variety of on-the-ground activities designed to protect oceans and local waters that include:

  • Organizing recycling stations around the event site
  • Maintaining recycling sites throughout event by emptying and replacing bags
  • Maintaining water bottle filling station and tracking water usage throughout event
  • Maintaining compost station
  • Promoting programs and sharing resources with visitors
  • Registering members and e-newsletter subscribers for Sailors for the Sea
  • Helping with set-up and breakdown of event

Intern responsibilities are the same as above plus organizing future Clean Regattas events in Charleston and maintaining a presence for the program and Sailors for the Sea at other sailing and coastal events. A Sailors for the Sea staff member will be present for the event to help coordinate responsibilities. Interns are eligible to receive course credit for their work. Volunteers are eligible for certified volunteer hours. All receive free Sailors for the Sea membership, hat, and lunch.

"Sailors for the Sea helps events implement specific actions, but are limited due to small staff and travel costs. For this reason, we're enlisting volunteers and interns in Charleston to help organize and implement activities such as recycling programs and water bottle initiatives," said Chris Mancini, program director, Sailors for the Sea. "This is a unique opportunity to get involved with a major sporting event and protect local waters."

About Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 
2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is an event of The South Carolina Maritime Foundation and Charleston Ocean Racing Association. All profits from the event support educational programs aboard the Spirit of South Carolina , a traditional tall ship serving South Carolina's youth. 2011 Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is sponsored by Sperry Top-Sider, Gosling's Rum, vineyard vines, Gill, North Sails, Newport Shipyard, Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, Daniel Island Real Estate, Rebootizer, West Marine, Pierside Boatworks, OnDeck, RS-100, Marlow, Lewmar, Layline, Azalea Moving & Storage, Charleston Yachting, Photoboat.com and Rising High Café. Check out the event site at http://www.charlestonraceweek.com/ for more information, including Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions, Entry List, Media Information, Logistical Support, Available Charters, News, Video and Photos, and become a fan of the Charleston Race Week Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/CharlestonRaceWeek.

About Sailors for the Sea 
Founded in 2004, Sailors for the Sea is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect oceans and local waters. For more information on or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit www.sailorsforthesea.org.