US Sailing Leadership Forum - Sailors for the Sea

US Sailing Leadership Forum

 February 7, 2014  | By: Oceana

This week the US Sailing Leadership forum is taking place in San Diego, CA. Our president, R. Mark Davis presented as part of a panel on the topic, Going Green: Sustainable Practices for Programs and Regattas. Panel members also included Jill Savery, recently the sustainability director of the America’s Cup, Richard Jepsen CEO of OCSC Sailing, and moderated by Kate Neubauer, program manger of 11th Hour Racing

Each panel member brought a different angle to the discussion of how to go green and the benefits it will bring to your sailing event.

Kate shared the 11th Hour Racing’s mission to raise awareness of the environment within the sailing industry and create sustainable performance solutions.

Mark discussed the need for boaters to rally around ocean health issues and the changes boaters can make to protect the water we love. The Clean Regattas program helps racers implement best practices that were created with specific ocean health issues in mind. For example, we all need to clean our boats, however some cleaners contain phosphates and other toxic chemicals that are harmful, so you can switch to non-toxic cleaning products.

Jill reviewed the sustainability plan for the America’s Cup and the extensive groundwork that needed to be done in order the host city agreement which included achieving zero waste, carbon neutral and being environmentally sustainable. The first step was defining what these items meant, and then working with the multitude of teams, sponsors, and city officials to implement each best practice. She was also proud that the event was conducted without any single use plastic!

Rich shared some of the solutions they are working on at OCSC including bottom paint that is less harmful to the environment and switching to electric engines. One of their big eco-success was switching to reusable water bottles almost five years ago by running extra plumbing along the docks for water stations. One of their “fun” environmental practices is giving back to the environment in the beautiful places they sail, for example helping support placement of moorings in Tonga to prevent anchors from destroying precious coral reefs!

Sailors for the Sea was very excited to be a part of this panel, and to have the topic of going green be part of the US Sailing Leadership Forum! Please contact us about starting your sustainability story!