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Sun Sail
You can teach an old dog new tricks
Thursday, 27 November 2014 00:00
Written by Dan Reading, Green Blue Sustainability Officer


How is the world’s oldest club keeping up with modern day pressures.

Did you know that the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) is the oldest club in the world having been established in 1720 - almost 100 years before early combustion engines were even built? There were no oil spills to worry about, but there was a fear of sailing off the edge of the world to contend with.

The Green Blue recently visited the Royal Cork Yacht Club to carry out an environmental audit ahead of the club’s assessment for The Yacht Harbour Association’s Gold Anchor Award Scheme, which contains various environmental criteria. The club currently has the highest rating of five Gold Anchors for its marina and is affiliated to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA).

As well as a 220-berth marina and 38 moorings, the club hosts the biennial Cork Week, which welcomes over 400 boats. RCYC currently holds RORC’s Commodores' Cup, so there is a high pedigree of sailors who are current members. Previous members also include the notorious Sir Thomas Lipton, five times America’s Cup challenger.

Mini race, max impact
Thursday, 02 October 2014 14:20
By: Jane Swan, The Green Blue

Mini race, max impact

Planning for a sustainable Mini Transat 2015

It’s increasingly common these days for major events to include sustainability in their vision, operations and legacy, London 2012 having led the way. It’s also becomingly increasingly common for teams and competitors to consider where sustainability might fit within their campaigns, Team Origin’s ‘Race for Change’ being a great example of recent times.

Becky Scott, Artemis Offshore Academy graduate, is doing just that as part of her two year campaign to qualify for the 2015 Mini Transat, and with a Masters in Environmental Management is well qualified to take on the challenge.

Tough challenge

The Mini Transat is one of the toughest solo yacht races in the world thanks to the combination of the small size of the boats (6.5m or 21ft), the distance (4,020 miles across the Atlantic) and the restrictions on the technology permitted on board. The race typically attracts over 80 boats to the start line and it has a real spirit of adventure, demanding both strength and endurance from competitors.

Green Cowes
Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00
By: Jane Swan, The Green Blue


With Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week 2014 taking place from 2-9 August, and with so much happening – from Boss Up the Mast and Ladies Day to the Red Arrows and Family Day – it’s hard to see how sustainability can be squeezed in to the programme, but thanks to Cowes Week Limited and Sunsail, it has!

There’s no better platform in the sailing calendar than Cowes Week to raise awareness of green boating but the trick, as always with trying to change behaviour both on and off the water, is to make it easy, practical and fun.

The Green Blue has enjoyed a fantastic partnership with Sunsail for over five years, and the company’s enthusiasm and unwavering commitment to green boating has been a driving force for this year’s initiatives.

Anything goes
Sunsail’s ‘green day’ during Cowes Week 2013 promoted across its fleet of Sunsail Match First 40 yachts is now regatta-wide for 2014, with all competitors encouraged to #GoGreenBlue and enter a photo competition via Twitter or Instagram by taking a snap of their best green efforts of the week – Incredible Hulk fancy dress, mixology with crème de menthe or recycling on board – if it’s green anything goes. With some amazing prizes up for grabs - a luxury ski holiday in Canada and tickets to the FA Cup Final in 2015 courtesy of Sunsail’s partners, Crystal Ski Holidays and Sportsworld - specialist hospitality, travel and event services company - there’s a great incentive to get snapping.

Free re-fills
Plastic water bottles are always a challenge at major events, but with the population’s thirst for plastic seemingly unquenchable and 80 per cent of disposable bottles still ending up in landfill, it’s time to make the switch.

With brand new free water stations available at Cowes Yacht Haven and Shepards Wharf (a huge thank you to both) and with sports bottles on sale in the Regatta Centre and from UKSA’s stand in the Yacht Haven, there are no excuses, especially with the proceeds going to AAM Cowes Week official charity UKSA – a great cause.


‘It’s the law’
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 12:04
By: Jane Swan, The Green Blue


Every time The Green Blue is asked what it does, we always reply with something along the lines of ‘sustainable boating’ and ‘self-regulation’. Fortunately most of the time the common sense argument of wanting to keep our sailing waters clean and healthy stands up to scrutiny but when an occasional dissenting voice speaks out, we sometimes have to resort to answering ‘because it’s the law!’

A key piece of environmental legislation which has taken prominence of late is the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Amended.

Great white shark diverts away from UK waters
Thursday, 03 April 2014 08:50
By: Jane Swan, The Green Blue

Great white shark diverts away from UK waters

Marine wildlife in the spotlight
The great white shark Lydia – all 14ft and 2,000lbs of her - is now reported to be heading away from the UK and veering northwest according to Ocearch, an international research organisation operating from on board vessel MV Ocearch, complete with at-sea laboratory and a 75,000lb capacity hydraulic platform.

The satellite-tagged fish crossed the mid-Atlantic ridge in March, starting her journey in Florida a year ago, and has travelled over 30,500km since but is now unlikely to reach UK shores - no doubt prompting mixed feelings but overall some relief for water users and boaters here!

Wildlife spotting
The great news is that there is still plenty of amazing marine wildlife in UK waters – from the largest fish in British waters, the basking shark, to the Mola Mola, or Sun Fish, the heaviest bony fish in the world. Both of these and many more are shown in The Green Blue’s very first e-book, The Green Marine Wildlife Guide.

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