YACHTING SUSTAINABILITY – Ocean Respect Racing shows how to make a difference

The Perfect Partnership

Ocean Respect Racing, the first professional all-female crew to compete in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race partnered with 11th Hour Racing, a global organisation that promotes ocean health and sustainability through sport.

Skipper, Stacey Jackson and her 13 hand-selected crew sailing on mini maxi Wild Oats X, formed an alliance with 11th Hour Racing to spread the word about plastics in our ocean and how we and all yachties can make a difference.

Crew member, Jade Cole of Windcraft Yachts says, ‘the team were fully aligned to the cause – some of the women have sailed around the world and seen first-hand, what plastics are doing to our oceans and the devastating consequences on the marine environment’.

New Practices on Board:

So how did Ocean Respect Racing preserve the ocean during such a highly competitive and iconic yacht race?

11th Hour Racing taught the team how to do things differently – they learnt some very simple and effective practices that any boat owner can integrate:

  • Two rubbish bags were provided to each boat by the race organisers – one for landfill contents and one for recyclables.

Jade says, ‘we barely filled either of our bags and there were 13 people for 2 days in a confined space’.

  • Rolex removed the plastic stickers that were stuck to the bow of the boat for sponsorship exposure.

The reason?  stickers peel off during the race and go straight into the ocean.  What a great precedent Rolex has set by putting the environment first.

  • No single use plastic water bottles were used.

Re-usable bottles were refilled as needed from the water tank.  Not only does this help our oceans, there is no need to carry and store additional waste.

  • Sandwiches and snacks were packed together in snap shut containers meaning no Cling Wrap or individual packaging.

Food stays fresher and meals don’t get squashed.  Containers get washed at the end of the day for reuse and they are easy to store.

  • Stainless steel cutlery was used rather than plastic.

So, no throw away plastics and stainless steel was easily washed and re-used for hot meals.

  • The crew used insulated stainless-steel tumblers for hot drinks during the race.

Apart from zero rubbish to dispose of, this was a convenient and safe method due to less movement around the boat and minimal boiling of water.

  • Glass keep cups for the daily coffee runs in the lead up to the race.

Ocean Respect Racing and all the yachts were supported by the race committee, the organisers and the race sponsors, Rolex’.

Jade says, ‘many clubs including the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, hosts of the Sydney to Hobart, are undertaking their own initiatives towards sustainability with changes incorporated into their clubhouse such as the Australian invention, Seabin, floating rubbish bins that collect floating rubbish to help reduce the amount of plastic in the ocean’.

Do Your Bit:

Make a choice, be an influencer.  Speak to your club and other yachties about spreading the word with simple tips and most importantly, use these practices on your own boat.

Jade says, ‘knowledge and commitment are the key to sustainable practices and if 13 female crew can integrate these changes during such an iconic yacht race, just imagine the difference you can make on your own boat’.