America's Cup World Series Plymouth Receives Sailors for the Sea's Clean Regattas Certification - Sailors for the Sea

America’s Cup World Series Plymouth Receives Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas Certification

Press Release

Numerous event activities showcase sustainability efforts and a commitment to promote ocean health


Newport, Rhode Island – October 3, 2011 – Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the sailing and boating community, is proud to announce that the America’s Cup World Series event in Plymouth earned the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas certification at the SILVER level . The America’s Cup Event Authority’s (ACEA) commitment to Clean Regattas practices resulted in environmentally focused activities throughout the event. In addition to supporting ACEA in its Clean Regattas efforts, Sailors for the Sea volunteered along with America’s Cup athletes and ACEA staff in on-shore activities focused on ocean health and sustainability.

“ACEA and the Plymouth community worked together to take the America’s Cup level of commitment up a notch. Event organizers and racers did a great job implementing the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas program in Cascais, while the AC World Series Plymouth event further extended the focus on sustainability and thereby achieved a Silver standard result,” said Dan Pingaro, CEO, Sailors for the Sea. With two events now completed, ACEA looks to continue to succeed in their goals for environmental sustainability at the upcoming AC World Series San Diego, to be held November 12-20, 2011.

Clean Regattas Efforts at America’ Cup – PlymouthClean Regattas certification provides independent, third-party verification that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect and restore the waters upon which people sail. This program is an effort by Sailors for the Sea, in conjunction with committed participants, to reduce our impact on our oceans and coastal waters.

“We’re very pleased to have achieved the SILVER level certification of the Clean Regattas program at just our second event,” said Neill Duffy, Director of Sustainability, America’s Cup Event Authority. “We want to set a new standard in our sport for sustainable event management and our work with Sailors for the Sea has really helped us to accelerate that journey.”

At the America’s Cup World Series Plymouth event, ACEA undertook several Clean Regattas best practice efforts, including:

  • Water Bottle Reduction – Event organizers reduced disposable water bottle use by providing the entire event workforce with reusable water bottles, and implementing water refilling systems.
  • Green team – Champions in each America’s Cup facility worked to ensure on-shore recycling efforts ran smoothly, and volunteers worked to ensure trash from the 1 60 ,000 viewers was properly disposed of.
  • Trash-free regatta and recycling – Prominent and abundant placement of trash and recycling receptacles in the race village and spectator areas.
  • Gray Water Reduction – Water-only wash downs for race management and team boats.
  • Oil Spill Prevention- Oil spill kits available at marina fueling stations and onboard race management boats, and the use of fuel collars when fueling.
  • Biodegradable products – Reusable plates and cups were used whenever possible. Concessions in the public area served on paper with wooden silverware; both items are recyclable.
  • Bottom Paint – Nontoxic, copper-free bottom paint on all race management boats. Race boats are bottom paint free.
  • Bottom Cleaning – Race management boats are only in the water for 10-15 days and therefore do not to need to be scrubbed. Once they are pulled out they are sprayed with a power washer in the catch basin that prevents runoff.
  • No Discharge – All vessels with holding tanks were pumped out at proper facilities on shore.
  • Maintenance – Maintenance was conducted in covered areas with vacuums available to clean up all dust.

The ACEA and America’s Cup Race Management are tracking sustainability metrics in order to understand and improve performance at each AC World Series event, such as the amount of fuel consumed and the amount of recycling collected.

Attention Yacht Clubs and Event Organizers: To make an event a Clean Regatta visit

Sustainability Activities
On Monday, September 12, ACEA organized the America’s Cup community to devote time and energy on their ‘day off’ from racing to focus on coastal conservation and marine protection by participating in several on-shore events.

Sailors for the Sea joined team representatives, event organizers, and community members at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth to participate in a Coastal Conservation activity – the removal of debris and plastics from two local beaches.

Later that day, ACEA organized the AC Sustainability Forum, which brought leading ocean health experts and advocates together to discuss Marine Protected Areas. Paul Cox, head of science and learning at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, moderated a panel discussion. Dr. Sylvia Earle, oceanographer, explorer, lecturer, and scientist, was a featured panelist along with other leaders in marine conservation and research: Dr. David Gibson, managing director, National Marine Aquarium; Dr. Jason Hall-Spencer, University of Plymouth; and Conrad Humphreys, around-the-world sailor, and founder of the Blue Climate and Oceans Project.

Building on the Aquarium’s educational mission, Sailors for the Sea staff met with Cox  and Gibsonto discuss collaboration on the creation of lesson plans using the Sailors for the Sea Rainy Day Kits. These free, downloadable environmental lesson plans focused on marine ecology can be taught to young sailors aged 6 to 16 in yacht clubs and sailing programs around the country. Pingaro notes, ” Sailors for the Sea looks forward to working with the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth to help inform, engage, and inspire children from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.”

On day five of the AC World Series in Plymouth, while thousands of spectators gathered to watch the races, 100 schoolchildren from three schools visited the Sustainability Marquee at the AC Village, which was focused on Ocean Health. As one of the exhibitors at the Marquee, Sailors for the Sea taught the students about non-point source pollution using the “The Muddy Water Challenge” from the Rainy Day Kits.

About Sailors for the SeaFounded in 2004, Sailors for the Sea is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and local waters. For more information or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit

About the America’s Cup
Nearly 160 years old, the America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. The America’s Cup has evolved into one of the world’s leading sporting competitions – featuring the best sailors on the world’s fastest boats, the wing-sailed AC45 and AC72 catamarans. The new America’s Cup World Series begins its inaugural season August 2011. In the summer of 2013, the 34th America’s Cup begins with the Louis Vuitton Cup July 4-September 1, followed by the America’s Cup Finals September 7-22. For more information, visit

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  1. Water Bottle Reduction – Reduce single-use, disposable water bottles at the event site by providing Water Stations and Reusable Bottles to participants (participants can also be expected to provide their own reusable bottles).
  2. Trash Free Regatta – Keep shores and waters clear of debris. Overboard discharge of trash and littering at shore facilities (e.g., rigging tape, cigarette butts, bottles, and cans) should be prevented.
  3. Regatta Awards – Present race awards and trophies that contain recycled materials, as available. Alternatively, present awards that have a practical use, such as foul weather gear or boat gear.
  4. Green Team – Assemble a team to work on shore and sea cleanup, oversee recycling operations, and communicate the goals and agenda of the program throughout the event.
  5. Recycling – Provide recycling services at shore facilities for participants to deposit separated recyclable materials (e.g. bottles, cans, paper).