Please select your home edition
Edition
Clipper Ventures
Product Feature
Harken 57mm Single Swivel - 2600
Harken 57mm Single Swivel - 2600

Olympic sailors' show of force for Plastic Free Day

by British Sailing Team Media 9 May 16:45 BST
49er Sailing Beach Clean - 2019 European Championship - #Sailors4theSea © Event Media

More than 100 sailors, coaches and support staff from the Volvo 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships marked Plastic Free Day with a huge beach clean.

Sailors from all over the world came together to raise awareness of the threat of plastic pollution ahead of the major seven-day regatta taking place at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, home of the London 2012 sailing competition.

The beach clean, at the WPNSA boatpark and nearby Chesil Beach, was organised by the RYA and the 49er and Nacra 17 classes to mark the national Plastic Free Day initiative and highlight the sustainability goals of the regatta.

Working alongside The Green Blue, a joint initiative with British Marine to promote sustainable environmental practice in boating, the RYA hopes the Volvo 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships will set a new benchmark for sustainably-run events.

Ian Walker, Director of Racing at the RYA, said: "The turn-out for the beach clean was fantastic we had well over 100 people show up to do their bit. It's hugely important that we as sailors look after the environment and in doing so share that message as widely as possible.

"The beach clean is part of our wider sustainability strategy for the Volvo 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships, which we hope will shape how regattas are run with a view to sustainability in the UK and around the world going forward."

Sustainability is also a key priority for regatta title sponsor Volvo Car UK, as well as funding partner UK Sport.

Volvo is aiming to be climate-neutral in its manufacturing operations and for at least 25 per cent of the plastic in its newly launched cars to be made from recycled materials by 2025. It is also working to eliminate single-use plastics from its global offices, canteens and events by the end of this year.

"Volvo has a long legacy of supporting sailing and it's important to us that we get involved and support the causes the sport embraces", said Jenny Smith, Sponsorship Manager at Volvo Car UK.

"Volvo is really proactive in terms of sustainability, and while a beach clean might not seem a huge thing it's about the principal that we all need to start small and get as many people as possible to embrace reducing the plastic in their own lives."

It was also the latest in a string of beach cleans under the #sailors4thesea movement started by athletes including the British Sailing Team's Hannah Mills, Brazilian gold medallist Martine Grael and Argentina's Yago Lange.

The first was at the Princess Sofia Trophy in Palma, Mallorca, last month and has since been followed by beach cleans at the 470 European Championships in San Remo, Italy, and the Finn Europeans in Athens, Greece.

"The ocean is our playground and we need to take care of it, but we see a lot of plastic everywhere we go," said Lange, who sails the 49er with his brother Klaus.

"We are all rivals on the water and we fight against each other for every point, but when it comes to plastic pollution we all come together to highlight this problem.

"The message of our beach cleans is spreading quickly as more and more sailors come together to fight plastic pollution. We know it's not the solution but if we can show people the need to change the way they live then we are doing good."

Also supporting the event was a number of campaign groups including Parley for the Oceans, Final Straw Solent, 2minutebeachclean, Litter Free Coast and Sea and Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Racing begins at the Volvo 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships on Monday May 13, and will feature more than 400 of the world's best Olympic dinghy racers.

Follow the British Sailing Team social media channels for behind-the-scenes coverage of the event.

Related Articles

Brits dominate home European Championships
Brace of golds in the 49er and Nacra 17 classes Britain's elite sailors scooped the European gold and silver medals in both the 49er and Nacra 17 classes today in a flurry of success on home waters of Weymouth and Portland. Posted on 20 May
British athletes seek European success
Britain's Laser and Laser Radial sailors will take on the world's best For both classes it will be the first time in 2019 that all the major players will be on the start line, marking the biggest test to date in the run-up to the next Olympics. Posted on 19 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans day 6
Brits make podium bids on penultimate day Late start, light winds for penultimate day of European Championship. Battle for podium places intensifies as regatta reaches business end. Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell (49er) move up to second in bid for 49er victory Posted on 18 May
Giles Scott claims third Finn class European crown
Rio 2016 gold medallist secured win with a tenth-place finish Olympic champion Giles Scott said he has taken 'another little step towards Tokyo 2020' today after winning the Finn class European Championships for the third time. Posted on 18 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans day 5
Three counters including race win for Fletcher and Bithell Lighter, shifty winds test sailors on second day of final series racing. John Gimson and Anna Burnet (Nacra 17) slowed by weed in day 5 opener, recover with a third in final race to sit third overall. Posted on 17 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans day 4
Gimson and Burnet strike John Gimson and Anna Burnet (Nacra 17) go top by a point thanks to a 1, 2, 6. Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface take a swim while leading Nacra 17 day 4 opener, finish twelfth. Posted on 16 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans day 3
Peters and Sterritt win the day in Weymouth Final day of qualifying sees gold, silver and bronze fleets decided. 49er duo James Peters and Fynn Sterritt come out firing on day 3; a 1, 2, 3 shoots them up to seventh. Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell hold sixth with second win in ten races. Posted on 15 May
European silver for Mills and McIntyre
At the 470 class European Championships Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre scooped silver for Great Britain at the 470 class European Championships on Tuesday. Posted on 14 May
Volvo 49er, 49erFX, Nacra 17 Europeans, day 1
Champagne conditions for opening day: wind, waves and sun Three races for 49erFX and Nacra 17 fleets, four for 49ers. Nacra 17 pair Ben Saxton and Nikki Boniface open regatta with race win. John Gimson and Anna Burnet (above) lead British Nacra 17 charge in seventh Posted on 13 May
Brits aim to exploit home advantage
49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 European Championships coming up More than 400 athletes from all over the world will face off for the European Championships crown in the 49er, 49erFX and Nacra 17 classes – three of the fastest and most exciting Olympic classes. Posted on 11 May