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Ocean Conservation Trust partners with SailGP

by Corinna Ingram 10 Jul 10:14 BST 17-18 July 2021
The entire fleet sail close together as they practice ahead of racing on Race Day 1. Italy SailGP, Event 2, Season 2 in Taranto, Italy. 05 June © Ricardo Pinto / SailGP

The Ocean Conservation Trust (OCT) is proud to announce it is partnering with SailGP - the sport's pinnacle league - to host a series of experiences virtually, in the SailGP Official Spectator Area and across Plymouth.

The Great Britain Sail Grand Prix is taking place in the newly declared Plymouth Sound National Marine Park, which is the perfect host venue for the UK leg of the global championship. The Ocean Conservation Trust, the charity that runs Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium, will bring its programme of Ocean optimist experiences to the event.

Fiona Morgan, Director of Purpose and Impact at SailGP said; "At SailGP, the ocean is our race track, we are focused on leaving a positive impact in every host city where we race. We're proud to support projects like The Ocean Conservation Trust's seagrass restoration, which is making vital progress towards restoring seagrass meadows in Plymouth which act as a carbon sink and helps the ocean eco system to thrive."

Nicola Bridge, Head of Conservation Education and Communications Ocean Conservation Trust explains; "Sailing events and the ocean are indelibly linked and this is a prestigious event to be hosting in Plymouth. We are looking forward to being able to bring the OCT's work to fans of SailGP and beyond thanks to this partnership."

Official Spectator Area

The Ocean Conservation Zone will be created during the Great Britain Sail Grand Prix weekend in the official spectator area. Located on Plymouth Hoe, a team of Ocean Discovery Rangers will be on hand host fun ocean interactive activities including;

  • The underwater Plymouth Sound National Marine Park VR experience - Meet the Marine Park.
  • Interactive games exploring Preventing Plastic Pollution - an international project that seeks to understand and reduce the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment.
  • Meet the locals - the OCT will have a display with some of our amazing local species' artefacts so visitors can connect further with the ocean world on their doorstep.
  • The OCT and ReMEDIES team will introduce SailGP fans to the wonders of seagrass. This will be a hands-on experience making wildflower seed bags that can be taken home to grow. The making of these replicates the method used to create seagrass seed bags that have been deployed into Plymouth Sound by ReMEDIES to restore seagrass habitats.

Schools & Education: Free Virtual Lessons

OCT has teamed up with the Great Britain SailGP Team and their Race for the Future partner STEM Crew to host three completely free live lessons about seagrass, photosynthesis, the carbon cycle and STEM careers from the National Marine Aquarium on the 12th, 13th and 14th. July.

All three lessons will involve interactive work for students in the classroom and questions can be sent in for the presenters to answer during the lesson.

Find out more here.

Youth & Community: Meet the Marine Park

Working with Plymouth City Council, OCT is hosting several "Meet the Marine Park" sessions. The three-day programme is open to young people aged 16-25 living in Plymouth and aims to connect new audiences to the amazing benefits of Plymouth Sound.

Activities include visiting Drake's Island, exploring the National Marine Aquarium, heading to Mount Batten, the Military dockyards of the Tamar and the Treasure Island golf course!

Email for an information pack and application form.

Street Clean Ups

The OCT will also run two street cleans over the two days to collect data for Preventing Plastics Pollution on the 17th and 18th July at 10:30am starting at the Mayflower Steps.

Marine Mammal Spotting

The OCT has worked closely with SailGP on its marine mammal plan to ensure the safety of marine mammals in the vicinity of the racecourse on Plymouth Sound. Trained observers situated on Drakes Island will act as spotters and work closely with SailGP's Race Management team in the event that any mammals are spotted near the race area. OCT will also act as a central point of contact for the hundreds of spectator boats expected in the sound.

Find out more here.

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