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University Sailing Sustainability Challenge



The Green Blue’s University Sailing Sustainability Challenge (USSC) is an annual competition designed to encourage and recognise University Sailing Clubs (USC) from across the UK taking action and demonstrating to the wider sailing community the environmental best practice that all sailing clubs and their members can adopt for a more sustainable future.


Supported by British Universities Sailing Association (BUSA), the initiative was launched in 2015. The success of the challenge has seen it continue into it’s 5th year, with many USCs from different parts of the UK actively participating year on year.



The challenge involves USCs across the UK undertaking as many sustainable actions as they can throughout the academic year following set criteria for the Bronze, Silver and Gold Award levels. In the first year of entry to the challenge, clubs aim to achieve the Bronze Award criteria, followed by the Silver and Gold Award levels in subsequent challenge years. By undertaking these positive actions USCs will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable and rewarding sustainable sailing can be.


All USCs that achieve an award are invited to the Awards Ceremony at the RYA Dinghy Show in March 2021 and entered into a prize draw! The higher the award level achieved the bigger the prize!



Each year participating clubs need to appoint 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 past challenges, this position has been taken up by students studying a variety of disciplines including engineering, law, geography, science and marine related degrees, keen to build on their skills and knowledge of sustainability in sport, adding their involvement with The Green Blue, a national environmental awareness programme, to their CVs.


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”.


Sustainable actions you can expect to find across the award levels include:

  • ensuring sailing venues have a Spill Kit available to clean up any accidental oil and fuel spills
  • Raising awareness of sustainable boating best practice through social media
  • Displaying awareness materials at the USC sailing venue e.g. posters and green boating guides
  • eliminating single use plastics e.g.  ensuring re-usable sports bottles and coffee cups are used during training sessions and events
  • undertaking an environmental assessment of the USC sailing venue to identify where facilities and operations can be improved
  • making sure boats, trailers and equipment follow the Check Clean Dry approach to removing harmful Invasive Non-Native Species, such as the Killer shrimp,  to minimise the risk of them been spread around UK waters.



For more information and to enter your USC into the 2020-21 challenge, contact Kate Fortnam, Campaign Manager for The Green Blue at

See what participating university sailing clubs have done in past challenges and cheer on the University Sailing Clubs through the next challenge starting in September 2020 by searching #GreenBlueUniChallenge and following @TheGreenBlue on Twitter and Facebook and @the_green_blue on Instagram.



In the most recent 2019-20 challenge, twelve USCs achieved the Bronze Award level and two the Silver Award. These clubs will  build upon their success by going on to achieve the next award level in the 2020-21 challenge starting on 1st September 2020.


CONGRATULATIONS! To the following participants of the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2019-20:

Silver Awards 2019-20:

University of Bath Sailing Club

University of Portsmouth Sailing Club


Bronze Awards 2019-20:

Bangor University Sailing Club                                                      Bournemouth University Sailing Club                Cambridge University Sailing Club

University of East Anglia Sailing Club                                           Lancaster University Sailing Club                      University of Sheffield Sailing Club

University of Plymouth Sailing and Powerboating Club            University of Sussex Sailing Club                       University of St Andrews Sailing Club

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