World sailing

Announcement of the 2020 World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award Finalists

Announcement of the 2020 World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award Finalists

by Daniel Smith – World Sailing Nov 20, 2020 05:07 UTC

2020 49er, 49rFX and Nacra 17 World Championships © Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

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Four outstanding finalists have been shortlisted for the 2020 World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, showcasing the depth of global sustainability initiatives within the maritime industry.

The 2020 nominees are Hyundai 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 (NZL), MarkSetBot (USA), Northern Light Composites (NLComp) (ITA) and Starboard (THA) World Championships.

The World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award recognizes the effective execution or continued delivery of high-impact, highly repeatable sustainability initiatives aligned with World Sailing’s 2030 sustainability agenda.

For the first time in 2020, the public will be invited to vote for their favorite initiative, with the voting period running from November 27 to December 4.

Dan Reading, Sustainability Manager at Word Sailing, commented: “The judges were impressed with the quality and variety of entries and I am delighted that the finalists cover events, equipment production and innovation in the sport.

“We are excited to introduce public voting for the first time in 2020 to raise awareness of organizations’ sustainability work and inspire other organizations to incorporate sustainability choices into their operations. I encourage the public to participate and share the vote to decide the winner as we all strive to contribute to the involvement of sailing in global sustainability.”

“At 11th Hour Racing, we harness the power of sport to inspire ocean solutions, and it’s always exciting to see what initiatives are showcased for this award in sailing,” said Todd McGuire, Director General of 11th Hour Racing. “We look forward to public feedback, and we hope that the momentum created by this award, now in its third edition, will continue to inspire organizations and individuals to explore new ideas in the field of durability, not only in sailing but also in other sports.”

The initial judging phase was led by Jan Dawson, World Sailing 2016-2020 Vice President, Mike Golding OBE, World Sailing Sustainability Commission Chairman, Todd McGuire, 11th Hour Racing Managing Director, Julie Duffus, Head of Sustainability for the Olympic Movement, and Jalese Gordon, Emerging Nations Program graduate and Laser Radial navigator.

The winner of the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award will receive a $10,000 prize to help them continue their sustainability activities, as well as an iconic trophy made from recycled carbon fiber from a boat in the America’s Cup and infused with bio resin.

Public voting will open on November 27 and end on December 4. The winner will be announced on December 9.


About the nominees for the 2020 World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award:

The 2019 Hyundai 49er 49erFX and Nacra 17 (NZL) World Championship is one of only five regattas worldwide to have achieved Sailors for the Sea platinum status.

Prior to the championship, a beach and bay clean-up was organised, which was joined by Olympic and America’s Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke. A group of Sea Cleaners salvaged trash from the seabed, including car tires, chains, bottoms, fishing gear and pipes.

The event itself was paperless and eliminated single-use plastics. On site, only sustainably sourced food options were available, with compostable packaging and tableware. Nearly 60% of waste has been recycled and a carbon offset program has been put in place. Harmful cleaning products have also been eliminated and oil spills have been avoided.

Sailor education was at the forefront of the championship and 100 competitors and coaches took part in a clean beach and boatyard on the eve of the event. A sustainability award was also introduced and awarded during the awards ceremony.

MarkSetBot (USA) is the world’s first robotic sailboat racing brand. It is an innovation that revolutionizes the way races are conducted, reducing the environmental stressors associated with sailing.

The all-electric brand can run an entire day on a single charge, reducing the need for fossil-fuel powered boats that are typically needed to set a racetrack. As such, the number of volunteers required to run the event is reduced and destructive seabed anchors are eliminated.

By empowering race committees to run clean races, MarkSetBot makes no sacrifices on race quality, setting precise courses that make course adjustments easy. MarkSetBots has been used by over 100 clubs around the world and has partnered with organizations focused on developing sustainable events including SailGP and the Yacht Club de Monaco Solar and Energy Challenge.

The goal of Northern Light?Composites (NLComp) (ITA) is to create a new circular economy for the yachting industry, by manufacturing sustainable sailboats with technologies already used but innovative materials.

To achieve this, NLComp tests natural fibers, such as linen, bamboo or cellulose, in a thermoplastic resin to obtain a new type of sustainable composite.

The thermoplastic resin guarantees the complete recyclability of the composite at the end of its life or its reuse by thermoforming. In addition, natural fibers require much less energy to produce, with a considerable reduction in carbon footprint.

With smart design and engineering, NLComp aims to reduce the weight of the boats and therefore reduce the materials used, in order to satisfy the concept of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). Combined with the already sustainable hull, they also want to reduce pollution while sailing, implementing an all-electric motor and the use of renewable energy.

Starboard (THA) is the leading manufacturer of Stand Up Paddle boards and windsurf boards, including the iQFOiL, the men’s and women’s windsurf equipment for the 2024 Paris Olympics. They have applied a series of measures environmental aspects throughout the manufacturing process.

Starboard takes every opportunity to reduce carbon emissions – and for the unavoidable carbon emissions emitted from the production of their products, they plant mangroves to absorb those emissions 10 times more for each board. For example, they plant ten mangroves for every iQFOiL tip, making each tip 100 times climate positive.

Additionally, Starboard has eliminated single-use plastic and uses recycled plastic whenever possible. Each board uses 2.5 lbs of virgin plastic, and they recoup the same weight for every board produced through their own plastic offset program. The cardboard bags are all made from recycled PET bottles, limiting the use of virgin plastic materials.

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