St. Maarten Heineken third year as a Clean Regatta

For the third consecutive year organizers of the 31st annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta commit to Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas Program. Regatta organizers continue efforts to protect Caribbean waters by serving as a model regatta for ocean conservation and protection

 

Newport, Rhode Island and St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles - February 23, 2011 - Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the sailing and boating community, proudly announces that the organizers of the 31st Annual St. Maarten Heineken Regatta have taken the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Pledge for Bronze level 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. This program is an effort by Sailors for the Sea, in conjunction with committed participants, to reduce our impact on our oceans and coastal waters.

"As the first Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta in the Caribbean, St. Maarten Heineken has been truly remarkable in their commitment and consistency in the program," says Sailors for the Sea Program Manager Chris Mancini. "This is an example that inspired a multitude of Caribbean regattas to take the next step toward sustainability."

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta (March 3-6, 2011) is one of the Caribbean's longest running regattas. Like recent years, regatta participants will see many simple changes aimed at making the sailing event more environmentally friendly. Each year the organizers adjust the regatta events to bring awareness to environmental protection around St. Maarten and the importance of recycling. Efforts include:

  • Relying upon re-usable bow numbers
  • Eliminating the use of plastic straws throughout the entire regatta
  • Using biodegradable products, such as cups, coffee cups, household towels, toilet tissues and garbage bags
  • Providing journalists with electronic press kits, which as done last year reduced paper usage by six cases
  • Educating all participants about the rules that exist in the Natural Reserve on the French side of the island
  • Implementing an entirely paper free registration system which will significantly reduce the total paper use Including Marine Absorbing Pads in every skippers bag (graciously donated for the second year by Sol, a presenting sponsor of the Regatta and the official supplier of motorized support)

The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta organizers will also follow the guidelines for obtaining a Bronze level Clean Regattas certification by adhering requirements such as:

  • No Discharge-Discharge of untreated sewage or blackwater in harbor areas or no-discharge zones (NDZs) is not allowed.
  • Trash Free Regatta-Keeping the shores and waters clear of debris. Overboard discharge of trash and littering at shore facilities (e.g., rigging tape, cigarette butts, beer cans) is prohibited.
  • Green Cleaning Products-Including a list of 'green' cleaning products in skipper's packet.

With the regatta organizer's commitment to the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas program three years ago, the organizers find it important to continue their collaboration with Sailors for the Sea. Keeping both local and non-local citizens aware of the environment of St. Maarten and the Caribbean is a strong focus on the Regatta's agenda. Marleen Voets, regatta assistant, says, "To create an environmentally friendly world we have to start doing this by taking the first steps ourselves. We think it's very important to consider the environment but to achieve this result everyone should help, and to reach more people we cooperate with Sailors for the Sea. Furthermore, a Kids Art Competition has been organized to involve children more in sailing and St. Maarten and this year's theme was 'Celebrating an environmentally friendly regatta,' therefore the oldest age group 12-14 years old decorated a trash barrel with having the theme in mind. Those barrels will be used during the regatta."

Information on the regatta, as well as on-line registration forms and the Notice of Race (NOR), is currently available at http://www.heinekenregatta.com/.

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.

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

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 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2011
The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is one of the biggest yacht races of the Caribbean and is held on the island of Sint Maarten every year. The Regatta is named after both its location and sponsor, the island of Sint Maarten and Heineken. With its slogan 'Serious Fun,' it represents the two sides of sailing in the Caribbean. The racing and parties are legendary. The St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is known for its serious sailing; famous and professional sailors from all over the world are coming to St. Maarten to participate, but of course, everyone can join this amazing event!

When the serious part is done, it is time for some 'Fun'! Every night fantastic free parties can be joined. This year Headliner 'Wyclef Jean' will perform, but also Orange Grove and Brainpower!

For more information about the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 2011 visit www.heinekenregatta.com.

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.