It is easy to roll the eyes when you hear the terms Clean Sailing, Clean Regatta and luxury yachting event in the same sentence. How does one make a high profile regatta (with 350 participants, 30 yachts and 4 spectacular evening events) more “environmentally friendly?‘’ Well, Oyster rewrote the event’s rule book to put the environment front and centre. All it takes is a change of mindset and willing participants!
After our 2017 Palma regatta, Oyster Yachts realised the urgent need to become better at reducing its environmental impact during these events.
We linked up with the acclaimed Sailors For the Sea - Clean regatta program and in 2018 achieved an entry level Bronze status of Clean Regatta.
Sailors for the Sea are a dedicated organisation promoting the idea and best practices to make regattas cleaner. They have developed a step by step, tick box clean sailing programme that guides yacht clubs and businesses towards their goal of being more environmentally responsible.
In our recent 2019 Oyster Regatta in Palma, we have rocketed from Bronze to Gold status by simply taking a few more thoughtful clean sailing steps like these:
1. Oyster pre-warned participants to think about plastic free hydration on the racecourse and to bring reusable bottles and containers.
2. Oyster sponsor, Dolphin Sails, provided a giant, Cleanwave drinking water fountain on the dock so participants could easily fill their re-useable containers and be single use plastic bottle free during the regatta.
3. All evening catered events were single-use plastic-free thanks to the eager co-operation of the caterers. Not a plastic fork or straw in sight!
4. RECYCLED and REUSABLE products were made to replace any throwaway plastic packaging: Re-useable skipper’s wallets, compostable name tags, compostable lunch packaging and re-useable cups for the dock party.
5. BMW Proa Premium Palma sponsored electric cars were available for participants and staff to help reduce fuel consumption ashore too.
6. Reducing food waste: Local Palma charity Yachting Gives Back came and collected leftover breakfasts and lunches every day and were able to deliver fresh food straight to meal time at a local homeless shelter.
7. Donations to SAVETHEMED were made via the regatta entry forms. Save the Med is a local marine conservation group making positive waves in their efforts to protect our oceans.
8. Our regatta hosts, Real Club Nautico de Palma, also helped the regatta achieve Gold Status by its collaborative work with organisation Sea Bin to help keep their surrounding water free of oils and plastics. The club also run educational programs alongside their sailing courses that teach children about protecting the future of the sea.
Those are the simple steps we took to reach the Gold level this year through clean sailing. But we can always do better.
2021 Palma Regatta means aiming for Platinum Status with a heavy focus on recycling, composting and reducing unnecessary paper printing.
Oyster Yachts would also like to roll out this ‘cleaner, greener’ attitude to include the Caribbean regattas, Boat Shows and all future Oyster events.
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