Sailors for the Sea Completes Fourth Annual Clean Regattas Season - Sailors for the Sea

Sailors for the Sea Completes Fourth Annual Clean Regattas Season

Press Release

Record Number of Yacht Clubs and Regatta Organizers Commit to Ocean Preservation and Protection Standards. Efforts to protect and preserve oceans and local waters adopted by 40 regattas and over 25,000 sailors in 2009.


Newport, Rhode Island – February 1, 2010 – Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation group focused on the sailing and boating community, today announces the completion of its fourth annual Clean Regatta program and first Gold Certification awarded to the New York Yacht Club, and aggressive plans and commitments to the program from clubs and regattas in 2010. These commitments include Gold Level regattas pledged at Nantucket Race Week and the New York Yacht Club. The presence in the Caribbean is also expanding to more events in the BVI and the St. Barth Yacht Club’s Les Voiles de St. Barth. 

First launched in 2006, the Clean Regatta program is an effort by Sailors for the Sea, in conjunction with yacht clubs and marinas, to reduce the human impact on oceans and coastal waters. With oceans in an apparent constant decline, states and nations continue to pass regulations and laws that limit what can be done to and in the water. As a voluntary program, Clean Regattas provides an opportunity for participating yacht clubs and regatta organizers to contribute to the improvement of coastal and local waters. 

“We continue to experience strong momentum for the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta program which serves as a testament to the power of individual and community support and commitment to ocean stewardship,” said Dan Pingaro, CEO, Sailors for the Sea. “I’m proud of the efforts our program participants make to embrace the certification criteria, their ongoing commitment to do their part, and the enthusiasm in spreading the word.” 

The Clean Regatta program started with six participating clubs and regattas and has grown exponentially over the past four years with 40 clubs and events, and more than 25,000 individual sailors making the commitment to protecting our local waterways, coastlines and oceans in 2009. Last year saw the first certifications above the Bronze Level with the BVI Spring Regatta, Nantucket Race Week and Volvo Ocean Race Boston Port Stop receiving Silver Certification for their efforts, and the New York Yacht Club achieving the first Gold Certification. The goal for 2010 is to certify 80 events with 50,000 total sailors participating in Clean Regattas. 

This past year marked a record number of program participants, international expansion of the Clean Regatta program, and continued certification of fresh water regattas throughout the United States. Many clubs, community sailing programs and regattas have returned each year to the program. Mr. Pingaro proudly notes, “In addition, we secured commitment from the VOR to make their local on-shore activities and sailing events during their Boston stop-over Clean Regatta certified.” 

Special acknowledgement goes to the Boston Harbor Islands Regatta for their continued commitment to the Clean Regatta Program for each of the past four years. Thanks to both the 29th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and 34th Annual British Virgin Islands Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, which became the first two international regattas in 2009 to commit to the Clean Regatta program. The first Canadian Clean Regatta took place in 2009 with the Lake Ontario 300 at Port Credit Yacht Club. 

Clean Regatta 2009 Participants
Many factors contribute to the continued interest in the Clean Regatta program, including; increased awareness for the need to protect oceans and the environment; education about the daily impact of human activities, as well as damage and threats facing our oceans. The 2009 Clean Regatta participants include: 

Full-season Commitments

  • Courageous Sailing Center, Boston, Mass.
  • SUNY Maritime College, Throggs Neck, New York
  • New York Yacht Club, Newport, Rhode Island

Commitments Since Inception

  • The Boston Harbor Island Regatta, Boston, Mass.

Three-year Commitments

  • Corinthian Yacht Club Junior Keelboat Regatta, Marblehead, Mass.
  • Flip Flop Regatta, Boston, Mass.
  • Marblehead Down East Challenge, Marblehead, Mass.
  • Northeast Harbor Sailing School, Northeast Harbor, Maine

Two-year Commitments

  • Big Team Regatta, Washington, D.C.
  • Buzzard’s Bay Regatta, New Bedford, Mass.
  • Courageous Sailing Center, Boston, Mass.
  • Emerald Cup, Triton Yacht Club, Eugene, Oregon
  • Intercollegiate Sailing Association Championships.
  • Scituate Harbor Yacht Club, Scituate, Mass.
  • T10 North American Championships, Corinthian Yacht Club, Chicago, Ill.

First-year Commitments

  • Antigua Race Week
  • British Virgin Island Spring Regatta
  • IOD North Americans, Northeast Harbor, Maine
  • Lake Ontario 300 (first Canadian Regatta)
  • Mudhead Benefit Regatta, West Mystic, Conn.
  • Nantucket Race Week
  • New York Yacht Club, Newport, Rhode Island
  • St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
  • Severn Sailing Association, Annapolis, Maryland
  • Shields Nationals, Club, Chicago, Ill.
  • SUNY Maritime College, Throggs Neck, New York

Benefits of Clean Regatta – Make the Commitment
The Clean Regatta program is now available for all interested yacht clubs, regattas and sailing programs, and will be found across the U.S. and in the Caribbean in 2010. Clubs and regattas can realize immediate economic benefits by participating in the program ranging from saving money by reducing reliance on plastic bottles, fossil fuels, and disposable products; to getting discounts on environmentally friendly products through the Clean Regattas program; to reducing excess spending by anticipating regulations and avoiding abrupt and costly changes due to new laws and related cleanup efforts; and attracting new sponsors, donors, investors, and foundations for non-profit clubs through the positive awareness of the Clean Regatta efforts. 

About Clean Regatta Certification Standards
Clean Regatta certification provides independent, third-party verification that a yacht club or regatta is environmentally responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect and restore the waters upon which people sail. 

With three levels of certification available, participating yacht clubs attempt to fulfill requirements by forming a Clean Regatta committee for the event or a permanent committee for all club/organization governance and events to oversee the certification criteria. Details about specific criteria standards are available online at In general, the criteria relates to trash and recycling collection and disposal; discharge; oil spill prevention; green cleaning products and bottom paint usage; bottom cleaning and boat maintenance; global warming and carbon offsets; biofuel conversion; and use of recycled materials in regatta awards. 

A Clean Regatta designation by the Sailors for the Sea organization means all competitors agree to abide by Clean Regatta Certification Level requirements. Sailors for the Sea provides support and materials, and the final certification that a club or event is a Clean Regatta. 


Lauren Curley
781 383 6406 

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