Sailing Season in the U.S. and Caribbean off to a Great Start

More Than 35 Regattas Already Committed to Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas Program. International Rolex Regatta is one of several Caribbean regattas supporting ocean conservation and protection.

 

Newport, Rhode Island- March 22, 2011 - Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the sailing and boating community, announces that more than 35 regattas in the United States and Caribbean have taken the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Pledge for Clean Regattas certification. Clean Regattas certification 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.

The International Rolex Regatta (IRR) is one of four of the Caribbean's largest regattas taking place in early 2011 and joins the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, BVI Kite Jam, and BVI Spring Regatta in protecting the ocean ecosystem and coastal waters in Caribbean. According to Bill Canfield, regatta director, International Rolex Regatta (IRR), "The International Rolex Regatta has become more aware of our environment and efforts to protect it the past few years, and we are pleased to be involved in this wonderful program for the first time. In many cases, our older sailors are beginning to follow the lead of our junior sailors, as they seem to have a better grasp of environmental issues than my generation. Every little bit helps and we plan on doing more and more each year."

Certification Criteria and Program's Growth
With three levels of certification (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) available, participants select 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

"Since its inception in 2006, the Clean Regattas program has grown from five to over 65 annual events with many of the well-known regattas throughout the United States pledging their support to protect the health of oceans and local waters and improving their environmental practices," said Chris Mancini, program director, Sailors for the Sea. "The increased awareness of the dangers to ocean health, consumers' growing interest in protecting natural resources, and the results of the educational efforts we've undertaken over the past year, we expect 2011 to far surpass the total number of regattas last year that received Clean Regattas certification."

By the end of the year, Sailors for the Sea expects to have certified 100 regattas as Clean Regattas. As of March 15, 2011, the list of pledges to 2011 Clean Regatta program currently includes:

Benefits of Clean Regattas - Make the Pledge
By making the Clean Regattas Pledge, regattas, yacht clubs, and sailing programs commit to protecting clean waters and shores by participating in Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas program, a third-party certification program that helps participants achieve higher environmental standards. Participants vow to fulfill, and encourage others to fulfill, the goals and requirements of Clean Regattas as set forth by Sailors for the Sea, and to work to protect waters for the use and enjoyment of this and future generations.

A Clean Regattas designation by the Sailors for the Sea organization means all competitors agree to abide by Clean Regattas Certification Level requirements. Sailors for the Sea provides support and materials, and the final certification that a club or event is a Clean Regatta.

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

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 coastal 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.