Sailing towards a regenerative future

Published on May 17th, 2021

11th Hour Racing Team, formed in September 2019 and led by American offshore sailors Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, is preparing for the The Ocean Race 2022-23. Hoping to parlay their experience from the two previous editions of the race (previously known as the Volvo Ocean Race), their team also has sustainability at the core of all operations.

In this report they share how they seek to inspire positive action among sailing and coastal communities, and global sports fans, to create long-lasting change for ocean health.

Newport, RI (May 17, 2021) – Professional offshore sailing outfit 11th Hour Racing Team has released today its annual 2020 Sustainability Report, announcing their ambition to run a net-positive, regenerative campaign, supported by title sponsor 11th Hour Racing.

The 80-page document shares key insights into the team’s efforts, successes and challenges on its journey to minimize greenhouse gas emissions while driving high performance and positive change within the international sailing community.

Since launching in 2019, the Team has been paving the way to set industry-standard benchmarks for an offshore sailing team. Initiatives have included measuring its water and carbon footprint through detailed analysis of operational areas including on-water operations, the build of its new IMOCA 60, team member travel and material usage.

“Our on-the-water mission is clear: to develop a high-performance sports team utilizing the best technologies and innovations, bringing together the top minds in yacht design and performance with the most experienced sailors and shore crew for the very best race-winning capabilities,” said Mark Towill, CEO of 11th Hour Racing Team.

“Off-the-water, our desire is to drive positive change within our industry. This will be our focus for the next two years of the campaign.”

Constantly seeking innovative solutions to make the sailing industry more sustainable and future proof, 11th Hour Racing Team is preparing their offshore campaign in the build-up to The Ocean Race 2022-23.

The Team’s Annual Sustainability Report shares detailed information on the following highlights of 2020:

A full life cycle assessment (LCA) has been completed to understand the environmental impacts of the construction of an IMOCA 60, aiming to lay the groundwork for the future of sustainable boat design and build.

In addition to several commissioned studies on biomimicry solutions for marine transport, the Team contributed to global citizen science programs measuring CO2 levels, sea surface temperature and salinity while sailing.

Operational efficiency:
Local communities where the team is based were impacted positively with 81% of all purchases invested locally, favoring short supply chains resulting in lower carbon and water footprints.

Inspiring others to follow, 11th Hour Racing Team is sharing best-practices and a number of free tools through their dedicated ‘Sustainability Toolbox’ helping other sports teams, organizations and events to implement their own sustainability programs.

Signed the UNFCCC Sport for Climate Action Framework, an initiative calling on sports organizations, teams and events, to acknowledge the impact the sports sector has on climate change, and our collective responsibility to strive towards climate neutrality for a safer and healthier planet.

11th Hour Racing Team’s ultimate goal is to demonstrate high-level sporting performance can work hand-in-hand with a fundamental shift towards new and more sustainable business models.

“Through the build of the new IMOCA 60 and being embedded in the heart of the offshore sailing world, the Team can influence and drive change from inside the marine industry, championing long-lasting change, practical solutions and mitigations with suppliers,” commented 11th Hour Racing Managing Director Todd McGuire. He added, “The Team’s vision and tangible efforts align with our organization’s mission of harnessing the power of sport to inspire solutions for the ocean.”

Damian Foxall, the Team’s Sustainability Program Manager shared insight into the Team’s new regenerative focus:

“There is an urgent need for the entire marine industry to align to the Paris Agreement’s requirement of a 45% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and to achieve net zero by 2050. At 11th Hour Racing Team we are reassessing our own areas of operation to better understand how to meet these global targets, and will work with supporters, industry colleagues and the wider marine community to support the transition to net zero.”

Towill called for collaboration from across the marine sector:

“As an industry, we have to reduce our overall footprint: this will not happen overnight. We call on everyone who has an interest in the sailing world and the marine industry – from sailors to sailing fans, boat builders to suppliers – to work together for the health of our ocean.”

Additional details for 11th Hour Racing Team:
Sustainability Report
2020 Executive Summary
Sustainability Program

What does Net Positive – Regenerative mean?
At 11th Hour Racing Team we run a net positive campaign. It’s a way of doing business which puts back more into society, the environment and the global economy than we take out. Along the way we are continuously reducing our impacts and seeking out regenerative solutions to leave our areas of operation, and influence better for our presence.

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