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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) and sponsored by OceanR, the challenge 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. All USCs that achieve an award are invited to the Awards Ceremony at the RYA Dinghy Show where they are presented with certificates and prizes from our challenge sponsors, OceanR.



For more information and to enter your University Sailing Club into the challenge, contact The Green Blue team at 



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 year



Example sustainable actions 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.



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 2021 by searching #GreenBlueUniChallenge and following @TheGreenBlue on Twitter and Facebook and @the_green_blue on Instagram.


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”

Sustainability Officer for York University Sailing and Windsurfing Club (YUSWC), Blair Davies


‘This is our second year of completing the Green and Blue University Challenge and we are happy that we have achieved the silver award! As a club that runs out of a marine protected area, caring for the environment is hugely important to us. Through these challenges, we feel that we have been able to improve how we operate to being more environmentally conscious as well as educating our members and centres that we use on the issues surrounding the environment we sail in! We can’t wait to try and complete the gold award next year!!’ 

Sustainability Officer for University of Plymouth Sailing & Powerboating Club, Harry Etheridge


Gold Awards:

University of Bath Sailing Club

University of Portsmouth Sailing Club


Silver Awards:

Bournemouth University Sailing Club

University of East Anglia Sailing Club

University of Plymouth Sailing and Powerboating Club


Bronze Awards:

Aberystwyth University Sailing Club                                         University of Birmingham Sailing Club

Durham University Sailing Club                                                 Exeter University Sailing Club

University of Liverpool Sailing Club                                          Swansea University Sailing Club



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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