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Something is better than nothing

Published on October 19th, 2021

As environmental awareness rises, and as sailing heavily relies on the environment, it has been a good partnership. Eliminate single-use bottles, plastic straws, and printed Sailing Instructions. Good deeds, all of them.

But what once was a grassroots initiative has become a leg of the promotional table for grand prix sailing. How do we get an audience to care what we are doing? Well, we can combine what we are doing with something they already care about, and away we go!

Often we judge the message by the messenger, and when this envoi is a globetrotting, fuel burning, composite material using consumer, the message loses sincerity. How many trees do you plant when the broken mast must be cut loose? Camera crews have gotten brilliant about not capturing the gaggle of RIBs following behind the race boats.

However, something is better than nothing, if only to buy a bit of protection, which is the reality facing other elite sports as reported by yahoo news:

It is a sign of the times that last week’s declaration by the Williams Formula One team of its aim to become a climate-positive organization by 2030, was greeted in muted terms.

It is, of course, a welcome ambition within a sport that guzzles gas and runs up massive bills in flying teams around the world for over 20 races a year but it seems to be very much in line with the way sport is going in 2021.

As world leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow for the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, so sports administrators are having to consider new ideas to cut waste and save the planet.

They know by now that it means doing more than simply planting trees by the thousands, manufacturing seats for spectators from recycled plastic or minting medals from used materials.

They know it needs more radical change to recreate a genuinely green playing field.

Credit should be given to some like Forest Green Rovers Football Club whose sustainability measures include solar panels, electric car charging points, water recycling, an electric lawnmower, an organic pitch, and an entirely vegan menu for players and fans, prompted FIFA to describe them as “the world’s greenest football club”.

They are the exception. Until now, administrators have largely preferred words to action. Next year’s big sporting events, the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the World Cup in Qatar, are among the biggest culprits. – Full report

Editor’s note: Scuttlebutt HQ’s Boston Whaler Dauntless had a 2-stroke Yamaha 130 but hired The Dinghy Doctor to repower it with a 4-stroke Yamaha 115. We are now lighter in the wallet but no longer using a noisy, oil dripping, emission spewing engine. Feels good!

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