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Once again university sailing clubs up and down the UK are being urged to take action and make their sailing more environmentally sustainable in the hope of being crowned winners of The Green Blue’s University Sailing Sustainability Challenge.

From Aberdeen to Plymouth, the challenge involves University Sailing Clubs working closely with their sailing venues to achieve sustainable actions throughout the academic year. Primarily aimed at inshore lakes and lochs, the challenge is applicable for all. Tasks included ensuring sailing venues have a spill kit available to clean up any accidental oil and fuel spills, to using re-usable sports bottles during training sessions and events to reduce waste and single use plastic.

Now in its fifth year the challenge gets underway at the beginning of September and runs until February 2020, with the winners being announced at a prize giving ceremony held at the RYA Dinghy Show in London in March.

“When we launched the challenge in 2015 we were absolutely delighted with the response we received from Universities across the country”, commented Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue Campaign Manager. “With sustainability and environmental issues such hot topics at the moment we’re hoping that even more universities will get involved with this year.”

“The format to the competition has changed slightly this year”, explained Kate.

“In year one, clubs new to the challenge work towards the Bronze Award, with a set criteria of sustainable actions to be undertaken and evidenced through photographs, social media posts or documentation. In the second year of competition the clubs work towards the Silver Award and the Gold Award in the third year, with additional criteria being set for each level of award.”

Each club appoints a Sustainability Officer onto their committee, who acts as The Green Blue’s main point of contact throughout the challenge and is the key driver in leading their club to success.

“Last year we had students studying a variety of disciplines including engineering, law, geography, science and marine related degrees keen to take up the position due to their passion for protecting their sailing environment, build on their skills and knowledge and add their involvement with The Green Blue, a national sustainable boating programme, to their CV”, commented Kate.

By undertaking these positive sustainable actions clubs will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable and rewarding sustainable boating can be.

Last year’s challenge was won by Newcastle University Sailing and Yachting Club. Swansea University Sailing Club clinched second place and in joint 3rd place were Dundee University Sailing Club, the University of Sussex Sailing Club and the University of East Anglia Sailing Club.

For more information or if you and your university sailing club want to be involved in the 2019-20 challenge, contact info@thegreenblue.org.uk or call 023 8060 4227. You will then be provided with details of the criteria requirements for your relevant award and helpful recourses.

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

The Green Blue is the joint environment initiative created by British Marine and the Royal Yachting Association to encourage a more sustainable recreational boating sector.

To find out more about The Green Blue here.

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