Green Caribbean News

recycling bins, antigua, recycling at regattas, RORC 600
Damian Foxall, RORC 600, Phaedo, water taxi, st. maarten, heineken regatta, clean regattasHeineken Regatta, clean regatta, Michelle van der Werff, Fluer Visser St. Maarten, Sailing
Strong winds and sustainability – a winning combination!

An exhilarating few weeks of sailing have just wrapped up in the Caribbean with both the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Caribbean 600 in Antigua and the Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten running their events as Clean Regattas and achieving silver level certification! Sailors for the Sea had the pleasure of attending both events and we are thrilled to see the dedication of these events to furthering the message of sustainability in the sailing community.

The RORC Caribbean 600 is an incredible 600-mile race with a rich history that spans thirteen different island nations and ended with a record-breaking finish just short of 32-hours by Phaedo 3 and an overall win by American-owned Proteus. Conservation-minded sailor and Sailors for the Sea partner Damian Foxall was aboard Phaedo 3, and after their grueling sail, was keen to discuss ways to push the bar on sustainability both at this event and throughout the Caribbean – important messaging from such a prominent figure in the sailing community.

In its 8th edition, the RORC Caribbean 600 was a first-time Clean Regatta. The team at Antigua Yacht Club, in partnership with the RORC and local restaurants, worked behind the scenes to make sure the week’s events were as sustainable as possible. From implementing a paperless system of reporting results to partnering with local businesses to offer locally sourced seafood, the Caribbean 600 was an important event for Sailors for the Sea because of the event’s reach – not only around the Caribbean, but internationally as well. Traveling 600 miles during a race AND promoting a message of sustainability? That’s something we can get behind!

The Heineken regatta has used the Clean Regattas program for seven years in a row! In addition to providing recycling and waste management services, the St. Maarten Yacht Club placed a heavy emphasis on “boat-pooling” and promoting alternative forms of transportation. Their volunteer Water Taxi teams worked around the clock to transport sailors to boats, and regatta attendees between events. 

With 193 teams and strong winds, the Heineken Regatta races provided a spectacular sight off the coast of St. Maarten. The regatta is a massive, island-wide event that brings together sailors, locals, tourists and musical guests. This year the regatta organizers introduced the Boardwalk Market, where locally produced crafts and goods were available for purchase by regatta attendees, while also showcasing local non-profits and allowing them to share the messages of their organizations. Sailors for the Sea is proud of the Heineken for promoting local goods and businesses which supports the community, strengthens the local economy and is good for the environment! Both Sint Maarten Yacht Club and Heineken partnered with Clean Sint Maarten to provide waste management services at the yacht club and on festival grounds.

Be on the lookout for future clean regattas in your area! Upcoming events of note in the Caribbean include Antigua Classics Yacht Regatta, Antigua Sailing Week and Barbados May Regatta!