Five tips to host a Clean Regatta

Published on August 17th, 2022

Since the Clean Regatta program’s inception in 2006, it has become the world’s leading sustainability certification for all on-the-water, near-the-water, and water-loving events. Jennifer Brett from program administrator Sailors for the Sea offers five tips on how to participate:

Tip 1: Just get started!
This is the easy part—visit sailorsforthesea.org/programs/cleanregattas and create an account. Then you will be able to register your event and download a copy of the 2022 Clean Regattas Toolkit. This Toolkit is filled with all the information you need to host a Clean Regatta and plenty of “Pro Tips” on achieving the best practices. Keep in mind that registrations don’t carry over from year to year, so you will need to register each event every year.

Tip 2: Get inspired
We have compiled years of Sustainability Reports and Case Studies from past Clean Regattas on our website. Read through them to see what the Best Practices look like in action, and how events have found creative solutions to roadblocks.

Tip 3: Choose Best Practices realistically
If you are starting from scratch, be realistic when selecting Best Practices you plan to achieve—don’t feel pressured to go straight to Platinum! It’s OK to start small, and you may even find that the event is already doing some of the items. If the event had previously been a Clean Regatta, see where things can be improved for the next time. Consider focusing your efforts on a smaller number of high-impact Best Practices such as eliminating single-use plastic bottles and dinnerware or separating trash, recycling and compost.

Tip 4: Find your squad
No need to go it alone! Handling all the sustainability initiatives and communications necessary to pull off a successful event would be a huge challenge for one person, so assemble your Green Team and delegate tasks. A good way to do this is to assign specific areas to each person. For example, one person could handle digital communications and social media while someone else can talk with food vendors. On the day of the event, you will want some Green Team members to assist with tasks such as separating trash and recycling, making sure water bottle refill stations are running, and answering any questions.

Tip 5: Don’t get discouraged
Accept that there will be challenges along the way. Maybe your yacht club has a curmudgeon who is hesitant to implement changes, or perhaps recycling isn’t offered at the regatta venue, or a food vendor arrives with plastic bottles or utensils. In many instances, you will find creative solutions to the challenges. Focus on progress, not perfection. Ask for help when you need it, and feel free to reach out to Sailors for the Sea with any questions!

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