2017 Clean Regattas Announcement

Platinum Level Certification Requirements

"The Atlantic Cup, presented by 11th Hour Racing, was the only event certified at the Platinum level in 2016. The event was carbon neutral, educated 875 kids about ocean health and composted 46% of their waste." From left to right: Hugh Piggin, Shelley Brown, Robyn Albritton and Julianna Barbieri. Photo credit: Billy Black/The Atlantic Cup.

We are excited to celebrate the successful end to the 10th year of the Clean Regattas program, the largest yet with more than 195 regattas certified and 41,000 sailors participating in 2016. Since its humble beginnings in 2006, the program has evolved to set the highest standard of sustainability for water-based events, with 1,051 Clean Regattas and more than 400,000 sailors participating over the past 10 years.

Developed alongside the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco, the Platinum level Clean Regattas certification has empowered large sailing events to reach a very high level of sustainability – with required carbon offsetting and an emphasis on the impact of spectators’ environmental footprint.

As the Clean Regattas program has grown in participation and popularity many events have expanded their sustainability initiatives. Due to growing interest in achieving higher levels of sustainability, we have added the Platinum level certification to the 2017 Tool Kit – enabling all interested regattas to work toward this high standard. With many events accomplishing Gold level certification for multiple years, the 2017 Tool Kit now provides a roadmap for achieving Platinum status by meeting 70 of the 75 sustainability indicators, sub-categories of the Best Practices used to meet Clean Regattas certification. We are proud to offer Platinum certification for events that go above and beyond to ensure that all facets of their regatta are environmentally friendly.

We are excited to announce that the Vineyard Cup hosted by Sail Martha’s Vineyard, which has been run as a Clean Regatta since 2010, is the first event to commit to Platinum level certification in 2017. Brock Callen, Director of Sail Martha’s Vineyard, noted: "As an organization that places its passion and respect for the sea that surrounds our island home above all else, Sail Martha's Vineyard has developed and seeks to expand and promote a unique locally sourced and zero waste event model focused on sustainability."

How Platinum Level Certification Works

Pictured below and highlighted in orange, the first two best practices of 25 total. The white box with a black border denotes the sustainability indicators. Unlike other certification levels, which only require one suitability indicator to be met per best practice, a Platinum level event will need to meet 70 of 75 sustainability indicators.

Additionally, to receive Platinum level certification, an independent evaluation committee will need to be created by the regatta. The committee must have three members that don’t have a direct association with the regatta. Ideas for an evaluation committee member include: representatives from local government, local environmental nonprofits, teachers, students, and yacht club members not involved in the regatta.

In addition, you’ll need to submit a sustainability report, including photographs. Each committee member will review the Best Practices list and an average score will be created. If a score of 70 or greater is achieved, a Platinum certification will be awarded. If it is not met, the committee can analyze to see if Gold level requirements have been met.

We want to remind everyone that when it comes to sustainability, participation is better than perfection! We would like to invite regattas around the world – whether it’s your 1st time participating in the program or your 10th – to help us break the record of Clean Regattas annual participation by having more than 215 events participate in the program in 2017!

If you have any questions about running a Clean Regatta, please contact Robyn Albritton at robyn@sailorsforthesea.org. Platinum level events generally take a large amount of pre-planning, on average six months to one year. If you are trying to achieve Platinum level certification, please contact Sailors for the Sea six months before your event.