Environmental focus at Youth Worlds

Published on April 21st, 2018

The 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships will be the first World Sailing event to include an environmental focus in a World Championship with the adoption of a Sustainability and Ocean Restoration theme.

With this landmark approach, the 2018 Youth Worlds will be used as a Sustainability Benchmark for all future World Sailing Championships, for future Corpus Christi citywide events and throughout the Texas Youth Sailing Regatta circuit.

To support the initiatives in Corpus Christi, the Organising Authority are pleased to announce, just ahead of Earth Day, that 11th Hour Racing will join the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships as the Official Sustainability Partner.

11th Hour Racing is the leading sailing and maritime sustainability supporter who promote collaborative, systematic change benefiting the health of the ocean through the establishment of strategic partnerships within the marine community.

The Youth Worlds hosts the best young sailors, aged up to 19-years-old, on the Olympic pathway. On July 14-21 2018, 400 sailors from 65 nations will compete in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA.

The regatta will be a certified ‘clean regatta’ with clearly defined goals and active educational pieces incorporated into the event program in a bid to instill a passion for protecting the oceans and raise awareness of the importance of sustainable practices in everyone’s daily lives.

As part of the environmental focus in Corpus Christi, Sylvia Earle, an award-winning oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer will deliver a keynote speech to all participants during the opening ceremony.

Earle has dedicated her career to protecting the Earth’s Oceans and has a special connection to Corpus Christi as a Founding Advisory Board Chair for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“The inaugural partnership between 11th Hour Racing and the Youth Sailing World Championships provides an exciting engagement opportunity with a young audience,” commented Jeremy Pochman, Co-founder and Strategic Director at 11th Hour Racing.

“These up and coming athletes are well aware of the issues facing our oceans and planet, and understand that they can be the change-makers.

“We look forward to working with World Sailing, Corpus Christi Yacht Club, US Sailing and all stakeholders involved, on a broad range of engaging sustainability initiatives, while implementing a thorough sustainability plan throughout the event. We hope to inspire and be inspired by this next generation of sailors and create a lasting legacy for the local community and beyond.”

Dan Reading, World Sailing’s Sustainability Manager said, “In World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030, we have set some ambitious targets to create a better world through sport.

“We have a clearly defined roadmap in our Sustainability Agenda 2030 and Corpus Christi’s commitment to deliver a comprehensive sustainable event will ensure we have a benchmark to help with the planning for future World Sailing events.”

To help fulfill the mission of a clean regatta, the Organising Committee will designate a “Green Team” for the Championships and work closely with 11th Hour Racing to achieve the following goals:
• Reach the Platinum Level of Clean Regatta, as designated by Sailors for the Sea.
• Promote environmental awareness and ocean conservation to the youth participants in the regatta and local South Texas community by including an environmental education component in the regatta festivities.?
• Create an environmental legacy program for the South Texas Community and for the Youth Sailing World Championships.
• Publish a sustainability report based on Global Reporting Initiative Standards which can be used as a benchmark for future sailing and sporting events.

In order to ensure the goals are met, competitors, team leaders, coaches, volunteers and all stakeholders will be asked to follow guidelines that include, but are not limited to:
• Bringing personal reusable water bottles as no single-use plastic bottles will be allowed in the venue;
• Bringing reusable shopping bags and food containers as no plastic bags or single-use plastics will be allowed in the hotel or venue;
• Disposing of proper waste receptacles for recycling, composting and landfill;
• Cleaning boats with water only as deck soaps contain phosphates and nitrates that can dramatically affect water quality and can harm sea life;
• Choosing reef safe sunscreens.

About the Youth Sailing World Championships
The Youth Sailing World Championships was first held in Angelholm, Sweden in 1971 where 16 nations competed for the inaugural titles in the two-person dinghies, 420 and Flipper.

As the regatta evolved further classes were added to bring the best young sailing talent across the world together in one place and in 1984 the Mistral windsurfer was added to the list of events with Knut Budig (GER) taking the first gold medal in San Diego, California.

Open to sailors aged 19 and under the 48th version of the Youth Worlds heads to the Corpus Christi, Texas, USA from 14-21 July 2018 as the stars of the future are born once again.

Past notable winners include American’s Cup skippers, Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Dean Barker (NZL); Olympic medallists, Ben Ainslie (GBR), Robert Scheidt (BRA), Alessandra Sensini (ITA), Iain Percy (GBR) and Elise Rechichi (AUS); Volvo Ocean Race sailors like Stuart Bannatyne (NZL) and Richard Clarke (CAN). The most successful Youth World Champions are Great Britain’s Sally Cuthbert and Poland’s Zofia Klepacka having won four successive titles in the Laser II and Mistral respectively.

Italy is the current holder of the Nations Trophy, awarded annually to the top performing nation at the Youth Worlds. The Nations Trophy was first introduced in 1991 and in 1999 became the Volvo Trophy until 2010. France is the most successful nation in the history of the Championship, winning the Nations Trophy on a record eleven occasions and holding a record 76 medals: 28 gold, 30 silver and 18 bronze.

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