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Winners Revealed in the 2016-17 University Sailing Sustainability Challenge

Publication date: 30 April 2017
Article type: General News

Uni Sailing Club Sustainability Challenge 2016-17

The RYA and British Marine’s joint environment initiative ‘The Green Blue’ has announced Bangor University Sailing Club as the winner of the prize draw to conclude University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2016-17.

Environmental issues are a hot topic in lecture halls and common rooms across the UK and most students are more than familiar with sustainability challenges that cause greatest concerns. Set up by The Green Blue and supported by the British University Sailing Association (BUSA), the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2016-17 provided an ideal platform for university sailors to demonstrate how achievable sustainable boating can be to the rest of the boating community.

Champions of sustainability

After six months of enthusiastic competition, the successful students from Bangor University Sailing Club accepted their prize on the main stage at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at the Alexandra Palace in London. With several universities in the final running for the prize draw, it was Bangor University Sailing Club that received the competition’s £500 top prize along with their certificate of congratulations.

Edinburgh University Sailing Club (EUSC) were drawn in second place and the £250 prize and in 3rd place was the University of Plymouth Sailing and Powerboating Club who were awarded £100. Representatives of all three university sailing clubs were invited onto the main stage at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show to have their awards presented by Olympic medallist Mark Covell. 

Hotly contested

In recognition of the exceptional standard of entries in this year’s competition, a joint fourth place prize of £50 was also awarded to the university sailing clubs at Cardiff, Kent and Portsmouth.

Environmental Outreach Officer for The Green Blue, Kate Fortnam, congratulated all the universities for their efforts and achievement with their certificates and prizes. She said: “It’s been fantastic to see so many University Sailing Clubs committed to making their sport as environmentally sustainable as possible. This year’s number of entries doubled since the inaugural challenge, so the competition was hotly contested.

“Our winning universities have clearly demonstrated their dedication and commitment to keep their sailing environment clean, safe and beautiful for themselves and future generations of sailors.”  

Sustainable actions

To recognise the achievements of the winning clubs, certificates were presented to their Sustainability Officers whose role was to organise, encourage and lead their club through the challenge to successfully complete a number of sustainable boating actions.

At each achievement level, a number of sustainable actions had to be achieved and evidenced by competing university sailing clubs. These included performing an environmental audit of their sailing venue to identify and improve areas that can be made more sustainable, ensuring all their members use reusable water bottles as opposed to one-use plastic bottles, installing an oil/fuel spill kit at their sailing venue to clean up accidental spills when refuelling, and demonstrating ‘check, clean and dry’ best practice to minimise the spread of alien species around UK waters.

Next year's challenge!

The Green Blue has teamed up with BUSA to invite all UK University Sailing Clubs to enter into next year’s University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2017-18. If you know or are part of a university sailing club that is interested in getting involved or want to find out more about the challenge, contact Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue’s Environmental Outreach Officer, at kate.fortnam@thegreenblue.org.uk or call 023 8060 4227.