German boatbuilders Greenboats has received the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award in recognition for their game-changing design that has been proven to lower emissions and increase the lifespan of high-performance racing yachts.
At a ceremony at The Ocean Race Village at V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, Friedrich J. Deimann, Founder of Greenboats, received the bespoke trophy from the Sail Africa Youth Development Foundation, winners of the 2021 World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award.
As well as the trophy, made from recycled carbon fibre sourced from an America’s Cup boat and infused with bio resin, Greenboats received the USD$10,000 prize courtesy of 11th Hour Racing to invest in their workshop and help further their sustainability activities.
The event was attended by representatives of The Ocean Race and South African Sailing. Young people from Sail Africa and Lawhill Maritime School and six local yacht club sailing academies also had the opportunity to hear from Greenboats and The Ocean Race about their extensive efforts to make sailing more sustainable.
“Greenboats represents Generational Change,” said World Sailing Vice President Philip Baum at the ceremony. “This initiative has shown that sailing can make great strides in terms of utilising natural fibres over composite materials without losing speed, strength or style. I am really excited about a future where so many young people set about living their lives conscious of the need for positive social impact,” he concluded.
Friedrich J. Deimann, said, “To win the award is a big honour. We are able to replace glass fibres with natural fibres at every level. We are building day sailors, pleasure boats, and with the components for racing yachts we can really show the potential of the materials because it has to withstand the toughest conditions. This shows there is no limit for the applications.”
Greenboats’ flagship concept boat, the pioneering FLAX27 Daysailor, which uses 80% natural or recycled materials, has been tested in the harshest of marine environments and proves that their design has the potential to completely change the global footprint of sailing.
“When I started, 10 years ago, people liked the idea but did not quite understand the reasoning behind it. Now there is a big change across the industry, and people understand why we are doing this – and why it is so important for the environment. Everyone knows that we need to do something. We are at the forefront of this change and the prize money will allow us to push the parameters of sustainability in the marine industry,” Deimann added.
Initially piloted by 11th Hour Racing Team to support the new alternative materials rule in the IMOCA Class, these same design techniques and materials have been used for Team Malizia’s IMOCA, skippered by Boris Herrmann, and both teams were in attendance in Cape Town as they prepare for Leg 3 of The Ocean Race 2022-23.
Over the past 10 years, Greenboats has built and demonstrated a viable and sustainable alternative to conventional composite materials. The team has successfully reduced the CO2 emissions of composites by up to 80% over the product life cycle, with the same or better mechanical properties by using natural and recycled materials.
The prize money will help Greenboats to develop processes that will simplify adoption and increase usage, making the sport of sailing much more sustainable and providing the blueprint for other manufacturers to follow.