In 2013, 163 regattas around the world took the pledge to support the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas initiative, and the 34th America’s Cup enacted its pledge by banning single-use disposable plastic water bottles. The program holds yacht clubs, sailing programs and regatta organizers accountable for reducing human impact on the ocean and coastal waters through recycling, composting and hosting litter-free events to achieve higher levels of environmental responsibility.
“The enthusiastic support and participation in our Clean Regattas program continues to grow annually, and while the specific efforts of each regatta varies from one event to the next, what remains consistent is the growing concern for protecting oceans and local waters for use and enjoyment for this and future generations,” says Sailors for the Sea president R. Mark Davis.
The B.V.I. Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival in Road Town, Tortola, March 31-April 6 is in its fifth year of participation in the Clean Regattas program. “We were the first regatta on the planet to be carbon-neutral,” regatta director Judy Petz tells Southern Boating. The regatta will follow in the footsteps of the America’s Cup by providing only reusable water bottles. “We’ll sell water bottles for $5 and the proceeds will go to local charities,” Petz says. The B.V.I. Spring Regatta also plans to award a special trophy—made from repurposed wood—for the cleanest, greenest boat. “Each year we try to up our efforts,” she explains. “It’s our responsibility to keep our playground clean.” sailorsforthesea.org; bvispringregatta.org