VELUX 5 OCEANS cements commitment to sustainability - Sailors for the Sea

VELUX 5 OCEANS cements commitment to sustainability

Press Release

As race will follow gold level Clean Regatta Criteria.The Ultimate Solo Challenge teams up with ocean conservation group Sailors for the Sea.

VELUX 5 OCEANS race management has pledged to make the 30,000 nautical mile race a ‘Clean Regatta’ – a certification program from Sailors for the Sea which helps regattas, yacht clubs and sailing programs achieve higher environmental standards. 

The VELUX 5 OCEANS has been certified as operating at ‘gold’ status, the highest rating given by the US-based organisation. In doing so, they will ensure the VELUX 5 OCEANS generates less waste, reduces the amount of debris in the water and limits the amount of fossil fuels used during the race. 

VELUX 5 OCEANS Race Chairman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston said: “Sustainability is at the core of the VELUX 5 OCEANS, so to be certified a ‘Clean Regatta’ by Sailors for the Sea is a great boost for us. It reinforces our commitment to spreading an eco-friendly message around the world.” 

Chris Mancini, program director for the Sailors for the Sea added: “Sailors for the Sea is very excited to work with the VELUX 5 OCEANS race to support its commitment to ocean health protection and preservation. The commitment that this gruelling race is making toward prioritizing ocean health should be an inspiration to boaters everywhere.” 

The ‘Clean Regatta’ status is in line with the race’s own sustainability blueprint, TAKING ON THE ELEMENTS. Through TAKING ON THE ELEMENTS, the VELUX 5 OCEANS will spread a message of sustainable development during the race’s five ocean sprints, informing and inspiring race followers around the world. 

Also at the forefront of the race’s environmental agenda is the introduction of the innovative Eco 60 class of yachts. The yachts – Open 60s launched before 2003 – present an ecological and economical alternative to their more expensive, new generation counterparts, making the race not only more accessible but greener too. 

The creation of the Eco 60 class represents a chance for skippers to sail high speed ocean racing machines without incurring the huge costs of buying and running a brand new Open 60 and the inherent carbon footprint that brings. Capable of speeds of more than 35 knots, the Eco 60 fleet will combine close racing in similar generation yachts with viable cost of ownership and an affordable marketing platform for sponsors. 

They are a platform to encourage use of latest technology systems for the production and control of power and sustainability on long voyages and for development opportunities for a new generation of sailors. Race rules will set limitations on the number of sails, the size of shore crews and the extent of refit work permitted in order to further reduce budgets. 

But it’s not just about money – the Eco 60 class will also be governed by a framework designed to improve the ecological and environmental impact on the planet. These rules will seek to limit fossil fuel consumption and encourage wind and solar power, taking a message of sustainable living around the world. Several competitors have pledged to become the first sailors in modern times to sail round the world without using fossil fuels. Instead, they will use only renewable solar and hydro power during the race. 

Sustainability is also at the forefront of title sponsor VELUX’s values. Ever looking to reduce the impact on Mother Earth, VELUX’s vision is to create buildings which are energy efficient and use sustainable energy sources. 

At the race start in La Rochelle The VELUX Group will showcase a zero energy concept house and announce and celebrate the winners of the International VELUX Award 2010 for students of architecture at an award event. Besides helping others reducing their impact on the climate The VELUX Group have set a goal of cutting its own CO2 emission by 50% in 2020. 

The VELUX 5 OCEANS, run by Clipper Ventures PLC, starts from La Rochelle in France on October 17 and features five ocean sprints. After heading from La Rochelle to Cape Town, the race will then take in Wellington in New Zealand, Salvador in Brazil and Charleston in the US before returning back across the Atlantic to France. 

The Clean Regatta program is available for all interested yacht clubs, regattas and sailing programs, and is found across the U.S., in the Caribbean, and now literally around the world 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. 
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VELUX 5 OCEANS – The Ultimate Solo Challenge 
The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the Ultimate Solo Challenge, the ultimate human endeavour. More than 500 people have been into space – less than 300 have sailed round the world solo. The VELUX 5 OCEANS is a series of five high-pressure ocean sprints within a marathon 30,000-nautical mile circumnavigation. The race, run every four years since 1984, has a rich heritage which has given rise to some of the world’s best sailors. The VELUX 5 OCEANS is not only the longest round the world yacht race but at nearly 30 years old is also the longest running. Always at the forefront of ocean racing innovation, the 2010/11 VELUX 5 OCEANS will see the premiere of the Eco 60 class of yachts, pushing a message of sustainability, accessibility and affordability.

About VELUX 
VELUX creates better living environments with daylight and fresh air through the roof. Our product range contains a wide assortment of roof windows and skylights, as well as systems for flat roofs. In addition, VELUX offers many types of decoration and sun screening, roller shutters, installation products, products for remote control and thermal solar panels for roof installation. With manufacturing companies in ten countries and sales companies in approx. 40, VELUX is one of the strongest brands in the global building materials sector and its products are sold in most parts of the world. The VELUX Group has around 10,000 employees and is owned by VKR Holding A/S, a limited company wholly owned by foundations and family.

About Clipper Ventures Plc 
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s historic solo and non-stop circumnavigation in 1970. Now, as Chairman of Clipper Ventures PLC, he is at the forefront of promoting round the world yacht racing. Clipper Ventures, the marine sports company founded in 1995, is focused on developing and promoting major events capable of attracting significant participation, income, media coverage and associated sponsorship revenue. The company owns the rights to the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and the VELUX 5 OCEANS.

About La Rochelle 
For 1,000 years, La Rochelle has been known as France’s “rebel city”. Democratic a long time before the rest of France, it is Protestant when the whole France is Catholic; it always innovates and disrupts commonplaces and the city is a pioneer when it comes to urban ecology. Throughout history, La Rochelle has proven its difference. It has always been turned toward the sea and has a rich and turbulent past. Boating and sailing races are deeply rooted in La Rochelle’s culture and it has played host to many of the world’s biggest sailing events including the Volvo Ocean Race, Global Challenge and Clipper Round the World Race. /

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. 

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, visit