Vineyard Cup - Sailors for the Sea

Vineyard Cup

 July 14, 2014  | By: Oceana

We were very proud to head out to Martha’s Vineyard on Sunday to award the Vineyard Cup, organized by Sail Martha’s Vineyard, a Gold Level Clean Regattas Certification. The Vineyard Cup started working with us in 2010, at the bronze level, and each year added new sustainability initiatives, culminating in accomplishing an impressive 16 best practices this year!

Heather Ruhsam, Sailors for the Sea and Peggy Schwier, Sail Martha's Vineyard
Heather Ruhsam, of Sailors for the Sea, awards the Gold Level Clean Regattas certification to Peggy Schwier, Board President of Sail Martha’s Vineyard. 

Some of the sustainability highlights for the 2014 Vineyard Cup include:

Training all of their volunteers on environmental stewardship to be part of the Green Team. Brock Callen, executive director of Sail Martha’s Vineyard, noted “We don’t have a single paid individual for the Vineyard Cup so its crucial we educate our volunteers on environmental stewardship as best as we can. We’ve found that it comes back in dividends.”

No straws! Regatta organizers introduced a simple, easy way to reduce single use plastic that easily blows into the water.

Sail Martha’s Vineyard partners with Island Source to reduce single use water bottles. All water is provided in 5-gallon containers, which are reused after the regatta.

Recycling is guaranteed to happen at the event with a five-cent deposit on bottles, all trash carefully sorted and taken back to the depository.

Martha’s Vineyard is part of a No Discharge Zone that spreads across Cape Cod and Nantucket. Regatta organizers go out of their way to ensure racers are aware of this important law and Tisbury Wharf in Vineyard Haven provides a free pump out station.

All racers are encouraged to use only fresh water to wash down their boats. Eliminating the use of soap is a great way to eliminate toxic cleaning products and reduce phosphates in your waterways!

All food waste was transported to a local farm to be composted, a simple way to reduce the amount of waste heading to the landfill. As all trash on Martha’s Vineyard must tale a long journey and be shipped off island it is also a great way to reduce the  carbon footprint of the event!

Regatta organizers informed sailors about their Clean Regatta goals in their Notice of Race (PDF) and on their website. Educating participants is an important step in having a successful Clean Regatta!

Over the years, regatta organizers worked with Tisbury Waterways to address issues the island faces with storm water runoff.

We are very thankful to Brock Callen and his team at Sail Martha’s Vineyard for putting sustainability and protecting their waters at the forefront of their regatta planning!