Please select your home edition
Edition
GJW 2018 728x90

Make 2019 count - Introducing the challenge

by Gael Pawson 31 Jan 09:00 GMT
The amount of plastic Gael collected on a small section of Witterings Beach © Gael Pawson

"It's just one cup..." but if every one of us reduces our plastic waste consumption by just one item every day it will make a huge impact. So how about we all take one step towards a more sustainable sailing life, every month this year and make 2019 a true year of change? Each month we'll be looking at a specific area where YOU can make a difference... here's the why and how.

Being a sailor gives you a real appreciation for the power of nature, of its complexities and its unpredictable nature. You soon have to accept, however great your skill, however deep your pockets, the breeze has its own mind about what it wants to do which is no respecter of age, class or nationality, and sometimes that's simply not in your favour. It is one of the reasons, I believe, why sailors are generally a pretty awesome bunch. And while we may have manmade sailing machines in which we enjoy our sport, it is the wind and the waves that make our sport possible, the very natural elements and resources that are also so threatened by human activity.

The fact that we both love and respect those elements, is perhaps why many sailors have become high profile advocates for a more responsible, more respectful and considerate approach to life. Look at Ellen MacArthur who gave up her professional sailing career to focus on changing our economic model to a more sustainable one. Look at Dee Caffari's "Turn the Tide on Plastic" Volvo Ocean Race entry, and Phil Sharp's Energy Challenge - just a couple of examples of sailors trying to make a difference. Ben Ainslie may have been criticised for embracing his environmentally-unfriendly new sponsor, but his team did a lot of work on sustainability during the last America's Cup. Meanwhile, the 11th Hour racing movement aims to drive sustainable practices on and off the water, with a number of high profile sailors working to lead by example. But it's not just about the stars of our sport, every single one of us has a role to play.

Join the effort to make 2019 count

Remember, every piece of plastic we have used in our life is still cluttering up our world. As Ellen MacArthur points out, our linear economy, our linear lifestyle, where we consume and simply discard our waste, is not sustainable (see a video of Ellen talking about the circular economy below). To change our lifestyles to a more circular, sustainable model is a huge leap, but we can make that transition.

While the changes that we can make as individuals may seem small, the knock-on effect they can have to inspire others certainly has the potential to make a huge impact and the sailing community has the ability to set a great example. It starts with every one of us. So why not join us here at YachtsandYachting.com in making 2019 the year in which we do something about reducing our negative impact on the environment, step by step.

The challenge to become sustainable sailors

Our challenge is to do something new every month in an effort to alter our behaviour, reduce plastic use and environmentally unfriendly practices and reach the end of the year with a wonderful season of sailing behind us and a real sense of achievement in permanently reducing our impact on the world.

An added bonus of many of the changes we will suggest to try and inspire you over the coming months is that they will generally save you money and many have other positive advantages as well including health benefits for ourselves as well as helping to improve the world for future generations.

Phil Sharp explains that his project is about "setting an example to the polluting maritime sector. We need to start embracing these technologies and we need to do this now." Meanwhile, "If we have added to the momentum that is encouraging people to reduce or eliminate single use plastic, then we can walk away with our heads held high," says Dee Caffari of her "Turn the Tide on Plastic" Volvo campaign. Well, here at YachtsandYachting.com we're aiming to encourage you to join us to reduce plastic and move our lives towards a more sustainable model; every little bit we do is positive progress to helping protect our wonderful playground the sea, and our world that sustains us all.

Aside from any other New Year's Resolutions you may have made this year, this is one resolution you can keep even if you just incorporate a few of our suggestions into your daily life you will do a bit to start to turn that tide.

Related Articles

And they're up!
Back in Where's Wally? we looked at the incredible new foiler, the SYRA18. Back in Where's Wally? we looked at the incredible new foiler, the SYRA18. Please go back and check that out if you cannot remember it. Since then, Nils Frei and Yves Detrey have had their prototype for the monohull that morphs into a cat out on the water Posted today at 10:00 pm
2019 King's Cup Regatta
By Royal Appointment - Dan Snow races Fast 40s The Royal Standard hung lazily from the flagpole above the Royal Yacht Squadron. Team Windsor were back in Cowes. On 8 August eight Fast 40 boats competed in the King's Cup Regatta. Posted on 13 Aug
We speak to Vaikobi founder Pat Langley
Maintain his cool while growing a global business We spoke to Pat Langley of Vaikobi, the performance clothing company which started off by designing and manufacturing kit for the ocean paddle sport market, more recently branching into sailing apparel. Posted on 13 Aug
Well I'll be…
You had to think the Laser was going to have more than an uphill battle to be in the 2024 Games When their infighting took hold, you had to think the Laser was going to have more than an uphill battle to be in the Paris 2024 Games. In what is clearly good news for Australia, the equipment is set to remain... Posted on 11 Aug
Make 2019 count! Travel
One thing us sailors love is to travel So one thing us sailors love is to travel - open meetings, regattas, even the club we belong to might not be on our doorstep. How can we continue to enjoy our sport but make our participation more sustainable at the same time? Posted on 10 Aug
Where's Wally?
I do not know, and I was just considering that he might actually be easier to find… I do not know, and I was just considering that he might actually be easier to find… At any rate, the real question at hand here, is where are the SuperFoilers? The SuperFoilers got off and flying magnificently, albeit with the help of a few JATO bottles.. Posted on 4 Aug
More good oil
We had 'The Good Oil' newsletter just a couple of weeks back So we had The Good Oil just a couple of weeks back. This week we have more really good oil, and this time it comes from SailGP's Team Japan supremo, Nathan Outteridge. So then let's just read what the skiff and foiling legend has to say... Posted on 28 Jul
Please meet, Mr. Tacking
This amazing little fellow is an absolute trooper and completely inspirational This amazing little fellow is an absolute trooper. He's also completely inspirational. I am minding him, and he is totally blind due to his diseased eyes being removed a while back. I've taken to calling him Mr Tacking, as he is a natural sailor Posted on 21 Jul
What's the formula at Salcombe Gin Merlin Week?
Unique in the dinghy sailing calendar and wildly successful Salcombe Gin Merlin Week is unique in the dinghy sailing calendar and wildly successful with it. Capped at 120 boats, the event is always over-subscribed with in excess of 180 teams applying for a place. Posted on 17 Jul
The Marlow Rope Show: We speak to David Mossman
As an extremely knowledgeable crowd in Lymington learn some new tricks We spoke to David Mossman of Marlow Ropes after he had just delivered a 'Rope Show' to an extremely knowledgeable crowd at Lymington Town Sailing Club, asking some very specific questions. Posted on 16 Jul