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University Sailing Sustainability Challenge


September 1st 2019 – February 2020.

The Green Blue’s University Sailing Sustainability Challenge is an annual competition designed to encourage university sailing clubs to take action to make their sailing more environmentally sustainable.


Supported by British Universities Sailing Association (BUSA), the initiative was launched in 2015. The success of the challenge saw 20 university sailing clubs actively participate in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 challenges. In the most recent challenge Newcastle University Sailing and Yachting Club came in first, followed by Swansea University Sailing Club and the University of Sussex Sailing Club.



The challenge involves University Sailing Clubs competing to undertake as many sustainable actions as they can throughout the academic year. By undertaking these positive actions they will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable and rewarding sustainable boating can be.


Each club appoints a Sustainability Officer who acts as The Green Blue’s main point of contact and the key driver to lead their club to success. In the last challenge students studying a variety of disciplines including engineering, law, geography, science and marine related degrees, were keen to take up the position to build on their skills and knowledge and add their involvement with a national sustainable boating programme to their CV.


Sustainable actions include: ensuring sailing venues have a Spill Kit available to clean up any accidental oil and fuel spills, ensuring members use re-usable sports bottles during training sessions and events to reduce waste and single use plastic, and making sure boats, trailers and equipment follow the Check Clean Dry approach to minimise the risk of spreading invasive non-native species around UK waters.



Sustainability Officer for York University Sailing and Windsurfing Club (YUSWC), Blair Davies said: “The sustainability challenge has been great in stimulating new attitudes as to how our club operates. As an environmental science student, it has given me the chance to apply my knowledge to lessen the environmental impacts of YUSWC. For the club it’s been pivotal in establishing sustainable attitudes of all members, gaining recognition from the university’s sports union and BUSA. There’s always room to improve operations to become more sustainable, and The Green Blue gives impetus to UK sailing clubs to be greener. It’s very gratifying and something every club should get on board with.”


For more information or if you and your university sailing club want to be involved in the 2019-20 challenge, contact or call 023 8060 4227.

You can cheer on the University Sailing Clubs through the 2019-20 sustainability challenge by following @thegreenblue on Twitter and Facebook.

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