Sailors for the Sea has announced the start of its 7th Clean Regattas season. As of March 2012, 60 regattas will seek Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas certification this year, and four programs have committed their entire 2012 sailing season to Clean Regattas certification. Clean Regattas certification provides independent, third-party verification that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect the waters upon which people sail.
“By making the Clean Regattas Pledge, regattas, yacht clubs, and sailing programs commit to protecting the ocean and local waters, and working to achieve higher environmental standards,” said Annie Brett, program lead, Sailors for the Sea. “Participants vow to fulfill, and encourage others to fulfill, the goals and requirements of the program. The program’s growth mirrors the interest among sailors to protect waters for the use and enjoyment of this and future generations.”
In the seven years since its inception, the Clean Regattas program has grown from five to over 150 events in 2011. Clean Regattas program participants include over 40 repeat events and some of the world’s most well-known regattas – 32nd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, America’s Cup World Series, Newport Bermuda Race, The Atlantic Cup, and Chicago Match Race – pledging their support to protect ocean health and improving their environmental practices.
To participate in the Clean Regattas program, regatta organizers commit to carrying out at least one Best Practice. With three levels of certification, participants select their level of engagement, and work to fulfill the related certification requirements (five for Bronze, 10 for Silver, 15 for Gold), relating to trash and recycling collection and disposal, discharge, oil spill prevention, green cleaning products and bottom paint usage, bottom cleaning and boat maintenance, global warming and carbon offsets, biofuel conversion, and use of recycled materials in regatta awards.
The program anticipates that they will once again reach 150 Clean Regattas this year. For a complete list of this year’s Clean Regattas and more details about how to make your own race one of them, go to www.sailorsforthesea.org.