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Sun Sail
Thursday, 26 March 2015 00:00

green1Young detectives solve the mystery of Paradise Harbour at this year’s RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show.

Did you know that there are three main different types of fingerprint – an arch, a whorl and a loop and that everyone has their own unique DNA print? Or did you know that the Chinese mitten crab (named after its furry claws and one of the worst invasive species here in the UK) first appeared in the Thames in the 1930s? Or that Wakame, another non-native species, is also known as Japanese kelp?

They might seem like random questions, but they provided much needed evidence and information to help hundreds of young visitors to this year’s RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show crack the show’s first ever fictional marine crime scene investigation into pollution in Paradise Harbour.

Visitors to previous RYA Dinghy Shows have been treated to live displays of the invasive non-native species ‘Killer Shrimp’ to promote ‘Check Clean Dry’ to stop the further spread of alien invaders. And in 2014, The Green Blue encouraged visitors to convert human kinetic energy into electrical energy in a 30 second burst of pedal power on static bikes.

This year The Green Blue’s interactive display featured four scenarios around marine litter, invasive non-native species, an oil spill and pollution from cleaning products that contain harmful chemicals.

A Decade of Change
Thursday, 05 February 2015 00:00

What a difference ten years has made to the relationsip between sailors and the environment. Making the environment second nature has not been a quick fix but rather a voyage of small but meaningful transformations. 

It only seems like yesterday that global yachtsman Mike Golding and artist Pippa Blake were launching The Green Blue – the joint environment project from the British Marine Federation (BMF) and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) – at the Southampton Boat Show, but time has flown and in 2015 it’s amazing to think that the project will be celebrating its tenth anniversary.

As with all projects designed to change attitudes and behaviours, it is always useful to get the early adopters onside as soon as possible, and the project has been lucky to have the support of so many key names in the industry who could see the benefits of moving to a more sustainable way of working.

Of course, general attitudes and awareness of all things environmental have increased as well, so to some extent The Green Blue has been able to capitalise on new generations of boaters who have grown up with more understanding and acceptance of how important simple changes are, from turning off taps and switching appliances off standby to recycling and upcycling.

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.


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