University sailing clubs from across the UK are taking part in the first ever University Sailing Sustainability Challenge, set up by The Green Blue – a joint environment programme created by the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine.

The challenge will see university sailing clubs competing to undertake a series of sustainable actions throughout the academic year in order to win prizes and demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable sustainable boating can be.

Sustainable actions include: ensuring their sailing venues have a Spill Kit available to clean up any accidental spills when boaters are handling oil and fuel, ensuring members use re-usable water bottles during training sessions and events to reduce waste, and making sure their boats, trailers and equipment are checked, cleaned and dried to minimise the spread of remove invasive non-native species around UK waters.

The Green Blue team have been delighted with the enthusiasm from university sailing clubs wanting to get involved. Clubs already signed up to the challenge include Plymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, Oxford, Manchester, York, Newcastle, Leeds, Glasgow and Strathclyde.

Southampton University Sailing Club’s Commodore, Tom Harrison said: ‘As soon as we heard about The Green Blue’s new challenge we were very keen to get involved.

‘This is a great opportunity for our sailing club members to learn how to be more sustainable and show other boaters how it can be done. I strongly believe that our sport can do even more to be sustainable and ensure our sailing environment is clean and safe for generations to come.’

Participating clubs have to complete three different award levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold, by 27 March 2016. Each award level has a number of sustainable actions that need to be actioned and evidenced in order to be entered into three prize draws:

Gold Award: £500 prize draw

Silver Award: £250 prize draw

Bronze Award: £100 prize draw

All three prize draw winners will be invited to attend the BUCS Team Racing Championships in April 2016 to be awarded their prizes and certificates for their effort and achievements.

If you know a university sailing club interested in getting involved or want to find out more about the challenge, contact Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue’s Environmental Outreach Officer, at kate.fortnam@thegreenblue.org.uk or call 07900 492192.

 

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