There are a number of ways clubs and their members can engage in some more environmentally sustainable practices.
One of the main initiatives is the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas programme. This is a world-leading sustainability certification for water-based events and focuses on five overarching sustainability themes:
- Eliminating the use of single use items
- Environmental stewardship
- Community involvement
- Green boating
- Responsible waste management
There is a clean regattas toolkit which takes you through 20 best practices which your club can choose to work towards.
Clean regattas in New Zealand
Some New Zealand clubs have initiated this programme as part of a special event they hosted in the last year. These include:
- Wakatere Boating Club – OK Dinghy World Championships and national championships, January 2019
- Tauranga Yacht & Powerboat Club – AIMS Games, September 2019
- Torbay Sailing Club – Sir Peter Blake Regatta, December 2019
- Royal Akarana Yacht Club - Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 world championships, December 2019.
- Opua Cruising Club – Bay of Islands Sailing Week, January 2020
- Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron – Harken Youth Match Racing World Championships, February 2020
Platinum clean regatta
The Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships was the first platinum standard clean regatta in New Zealand. They have shared their clean regatta report and it's a valuable tool your club can use to help you start your journey.
The event organisers will be the first to tell you the key to a successful clean regatta is the assembly of a green team, a core group of people dedicated to (or willing to learn more about) sustainability who help plan, communicate and drive your initiatives in your club. Read here about the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 World Championships green team.
Using the momentum to continue
Many of the clubs listed above have used their experience of clean regattas to make some of the event-based changes everyday practices and procedures for their club. Some have nominated a representative on their committee to look at decisions the club make from an environmental and sustainable perspective.
The green teams in clubs who are continuing with clean regatta philosophies are passionate and willing to share what they have learned. Advice is available for clubs interested in discussing things like suppliers of compostable products, how to make water refill stations and co-operative waste collection agencies.
Please reach out here with any questions as our wider Yachting New Zealand club green team are here to help.
In the meantime, check out Earth Day 2020 and find some inspiration on actions you can make right now to make a difference at home, and soon at the club or in your community.