SUSTAINABLE YACHT RACING
A US SAILING EVENT – The Atlantic Cup – has become that nation’s first sports event to be ISO 20121 compliant and the only sailing race in the US to be carbon neutral since 2012.
For the first time in its five-year history, the race had a robust waste management plan, which resulted in 88 percent landfill diversion rate, with 538 lbs of compost, 394 lbs of recycling and 139 lbs of trash sent to a landfill. The Atlantic Cup has been single-use plastic water bottle free since its inception in 2011.
ISO 20121 is a management system standard that was designed to assist event-oriented organisations improve the sustainability of their activities and productions. The international version of the standard was developed for the London 2012 Olympics and it describes the layout of a management system that can help any event related organisation to reduce its environmental footprint and become more socially responsible, while maintaining the viability of the event.
“Tracking the sustainability initiatives for the Atlantic Cup is a challenging endeavour due to the mobile nature of the race,” says Brian Funk, the Atlantic Cup’s Sustainability Director. “The combination of offshore racing and land-based events makes for a unique dynamic in ensuring we were meeting our internal goal of being the most sustainable sailing race in the United States”
The Atlantic Cup, presented by 11th Hour Racing is, at 1,048 nautical miles, the longest offshore race in the Western Atlantic. It started in 2011 as a concept event and grew to a multi-stage race. The race is sailed solely in Class 40s, monohulls designed for shorthanded racing. The 2016 race featured an international field of nine teams from the US, Spain, France, UK, Sweden and Canada.
Wild Oats XI at the start of this year’s Brisbane-to-keppel Race. In what was the first real test for the new bow section, she went on to lop more than seven hours off her own record time for the 348 nautical mile course. Photo – Andrea Francolini.