Trickle-down Ef­forts

Sailing World - - Starting Line -

“Sus­tain­abil­ity” is one of the most mis­un­der­stood so­cial move­ments to­day. What ex­actly does it en­tail for sailors, be­sides the low-hang­ing fruit of the elim­i­na­tion of sin­gle-use plas­tic bot­tles? Much more, says Todd Mcguire, of 11th Hour Racing. The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s high-pro­file ef­forts to date have been with the TP52 Super Series, Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing, and the Volvo Ocean Race—and with these pro­grams they’ve iden­ti­fied sus­tain­able prac­tices ap­pli­ca­ble to sailors, yacht clubs and any other wa­ter­front fa­cil­ity. Mcguire shares the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s top five.

01 Shoot­ers from the So­lent

Land Rover BAR’S train­ing base in Portsmouth, Eng­land, uses re­new­able en­ergy, wa­ter-col­lec­tion sys­tems and a long list of en­vi­ron­men­tal best prac­tices, but the team’s ef­forts ex­tend to the wa­ter too. It has im­ple­mented a pro­gram to re-es­tab­lish the So­lent’s na­tive oys­ter pop­u­la­tion — right un­der the base’s docks. Yacht clubs and com­mu­nity sail­ing cen­ters can fol­low BAR’S lead, says Mcguire, by iden­ti­fy­ing lo­cal is­sues and cre­at­ing their own ini­tia­tives. All Great Lakes clubs, for ex­am­ple, could com­bine re­sources to help tackle in­va­sive ze­bra mus­sels and Asian carp, which threaten the re­gion’s ecosys­tem.

02 Waste Not, Want Not

55 South, founded by Volvo Ocean Race co-skip­pers Mark Tow­ill and Char­lie En­right, uses its sail­ing teams and pro­grams to en­cour­age sus­tain­able prac­tices across all op­er­a­tions. With Ves­tas 11th Hour Racing, the team will im­ple­ment a sus­tain­abil­ity strat­egy, which bans sin­gle-use plas­tics (also in­clud­ing straws, dis­pos­able uten­sils and plates, cof­fee mugs, etc.), sourc­ing lo­cal food, sus­tain­able seafood, re­spon­si­ble pro­cure­ment, re­spon­si­ble waste man­age­ment, re­spon­si­ble use of re­sources (wa­ter, en­ergy), as well as ed­u­ca­tion and out­reach ini­tia­tives.

03 Fill ’er Up

In 2015, the 52 Super Series made a com­mit­ment to in­tro­duce new ini­tia­tives that would start to change the way staff, sailors, mari­nas and host yacht clubs would in­ter­act with the en­vi­ron­ment while on-site. The list of poli­cies and ini­tia­tives pen­e­trates ev­ery level of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, in­clud­ing the wa­ter sup­ply, waste poli­cies, food pro­vi­sion, fuel us­age, clean­ing ma­te­ri­als, and trans­port. “These are easy prac­tices that clubs and sail­ing cen­ters can im­ple­ment,” says Mcguire, “but sailors must drive the ef­fort.”

04 Class As­so­ci­a­tion

The Green Blue — a pro­gram cre­ated by the Royal Yacht­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and Bri­tish Marine — works with sail­ing clubs and mari­nas to con­duct en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ments, as well as part­ner­ing and sup­port­ing one-de­sign classes. The RS Aero class, for ex­am­ple, re­cently im­ple­mented its own sus­tain­abil­ity char­ter in sup­port of the Green Blue. At all Aero re­gat­tas, or­ga­niz­ers and com­peti­tors take mea­sures to pre­vent the spread of in­va­sive non­na­tive species, use dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tions only, pro­vide wa­ter fill­ing sta­tions, en­cour­age en­ergy con­ser­va­tion (turn off the bath­room lights), and iden­tify prod­ucts with less pack­ag­ing to minimize waste.

05 Power by Com­mit­tee

Mcguire cites a few top-tier clubs — New York YC, the Royal Yacht Squadron, San Diego YC and YC Costa Smer­alda — as ex­am­ples of or­ga­ni­za­tions that have ei­ther en­cour­aged or formed sus­tain­abil­ity com­mit­tees that en­able the club’s mem­ber­ship to take a proac­tive and cus­to­dial ap­proach to their lo­cal en­vi­ron­ment. At the New York YC, for ex­am­ple, ef­forts led to the use of card­board straws, com­postable cups, and even a switch to LED light­bulbs through­out the club. “It’s a great way to em­power younger mem­bers who are more pas­sion­ate about sus­tain­abil­ity,” says Mcguire. “Or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als can look out for grants from var­i­ous groups to sup­port ef­forts

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