Taking clean to the next level

Published on December 14th, 2021

The Clean Regatta concept, developed by Sailors for the Sea to provide tools for events to improve their sustainability, is taking the next step. The Clean Club program extends the sustainability criteria from single regattas to overall club operations.

Yachting New Zealand, the governing body for the sport of sailing in New Zealand, has launched a Clean Club program which is something Sailors for the Sea is looking to use as a model for other countries.

The program is a way for clubs to become more environmentally focused, and those efforts are recognized in a three-star rating system based on the number of best-practice criteria achieved. This world-leading initiative seeks to help protect and enhance the coastlines, oceans and waterways in this country.

Yachting New Zealand has partnered with the New Zealand SailGP Team, who will share their knowledge with Yachting New Zealand’s 108 member clubs as part of this collaboration. This is believed to be the first initiative of its kind in the world.

“Sailors often talk about the ocean being their office or playground, which is why it’s so important for every yachtie and boatie to do a better job of looking after what we have.,” said Yachting New Zealand chief executive David Abercrombie.

“Knowing where to start is often the hardest part, which is why we’ve researched and developed these easy-to-follow guidelines on how to become a Clean Club. It really simplifies everything and helps take clubs through the journey, and we want to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements along the way by calling them a Clean Club.”

The New Zealand SailGP Team, led by Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, have partnered with Yachting New Zealand to help spread the word and encourage clubs to begin their sustainability journey.

As well as racing super-charged F50 catamarans on the water, the New Zealand SailGP Team are also competing off the water in the Impact League, which is a second leaderboard scoring teams across 10 different sustainability criteria.

The New Zealand SailGP Team have been leading the Impact League since it was launched earlier this year and have been using their voices and platform of their sport for positive action.

“It’s great to see Yachting New Zealand leading the charge for national sailing bodies worldwide and providing a practical framework for clubs to get involved with,” said New Zealand SailGP Team co-CEO and driver Peter Burling. “We’re really looking forward to engaging with the clubs who get their Clean Club certification and hope we can learn from them too.”

New Zealand SailGP Team co-CEO and wing trimmer Blair Tuke added: “We race in partnership with our #RacefortheFuture partner, Live Ocean, a marine conservation foundation that Pete and I started in 2019. The nexus between ocean and climate is clear. To have a healthy future, we must have a healthy ocean and we all need to play our part.”

Abercrombie encouraged yachting and boating club committees to start thinking about how their club can be more sustainable, especially now with the Clean Club program in operation.

Clubs are encouraged to focus on achieving criteria in five key areas: administration and leadership, waste management, resource conservation, community outreach, and education. For more information, click here.

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