Five Platinum Clean Regattas in 2019

When it came to high profile Clean Regattas, 2019 was a busy year.

Five Platinum Clean Regattas in 2019

When it came to high profile Clean Regattas, 2019 was a busy year. We saw a record five Platinum Clean Regattas come through the pipeline which speaks volumes to us about how sailing programs are starting to take sustainability more seriously than ever before. For reference, our first Platinum level Clean Regatta was the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco. From these beginnings, we’ve expanded our programs and now it appears that we’re on the precipice of a sailing and sustainability revolution. It’s clear that regatta organizers want to take on more responsibility and deliver higher quality events to participants who care not just about the sailing conditions but the ecological conditions of their waters as well. 

Kiel Week (June 22-30): Held in Kiel, Germany. Kiel Week was a Gold level regatta in 2018. To achieve Platinum level certification, their focus this year was on the reduction of plastic waste and began with the implementation of Seabins in their local harbors. They also offered reusable sailor bags made with linen (instead of plastic), minimized paper use, emphasized fuel-efficient driving on land and on the water, utilized cargo bikes in the event area to cut down on CO2 emissions, and offered regional products and vegetarian options to sailors. To accomplish what they intended to set out, Kiel Week had a robust Green Team and honored them all with a large appreciation dinner at the end of the regatta.

Vineyard Cup (July 12 – 14) The Vineyard Cup has a strong history of setting the bar when it comes to throwing sustainable clean regattas and this year was nothing different. From calling on their island community to borrow utensils to supporting local farms, the Vineyard Cup has done an amazing job of integrating their community into their mission of becoming a more sustainable regatta while also supporting their local community in the process. Building on the success of last year, they were able to offer their Ocean Awareness Tent for a second year.

Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at The Helm Regatta (August 16-18) With the full support of the event committee and club employees, the Irish Sailing Pathfinder Women at The Helm Regatta had a Green Team of three very determined sailors who collaborated to guarantee to ensure their regatta was held as sustainably as it possibly could be. From hosting a beach cleanup with Flossie and the Beach Cleaners one day to sourcing all their awards with upcycled materials such as recycled sail cloth and repurposed beach glass and pottery, this regatta took special care to promote sustainability in every aspect of regatta management. 

Rolex Big Boat Regatta (September 13 - 16) started in 1964 as the St. Francis Perpetual Regatta and in the years since has grown considerably. The St Francis Yacht Club has been a Gold level Clean Regatta host since 2012 and with a focus on providing refillable water stations, water bottles and reusable cups to competitors was able to make the jump to becoming a Platinum level event for the first time this year. In addition, they also collaborated with other organizations such as US Sailing and sustainability sponsors such as West Marine to amplify their message. 

49er and Nacra World Championships (December 2-8) Our last Platinum Level to occur in 2019, we couldn’t be more excited to have this team from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club register as Platinum. While the event hasn’t happened yet, we’ve been in close communication with the organizers and are pleased to learn about all their initiatives to reduce waste, both caused by the regatta and located at their regatta venue. They’ve already hosted one subterranean cleanup in their local waters by hosting a team of divers from Ghost Fishing and they plan to host more beach cleanups as their regatta gets closer. In addition, they’ve already reached out and partnered with local marinas in their area to install signage on 53 storm drains. With months still to go, they’ve already installed half of their water refill stations. They anticipate having a paperless regatta management system, online measurement system, and app.