The Challenge is on, as sixteen university sailing clubs (USC) from across the country, race to complete The Green Blue’s annual University Sailing Sustainability Challenge. New for this year’s challengers is the ambitious Platinum Award which sees students taking on a range of environmental actions.

The new Award is aimed at USCs that have already completed the Gold Award and are now looking to take their sustainability credentials to the next level. The Award criteria includes elements from previous award levels as well as exciting new activities, such as introducing an Environmental Policy at their sailing venue, encouraging members to join The Green Blue’s Boating Pledge, and participating in the Single-Use Plastic Free Accreditation.

The Challenge is now in its eighth year and is supported by the representative body for university sailing in the UK, the British University Sailing Association.

It is hoped that the Platinum Award will encourage the students to look at the wider environment in which they sail and will inspire them to act as advocates for sustainability in their local boating communities, as RYA Sustainability Officer, and challenge coordinator, Olivia Wells, explains: “Many of the tasks in the Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards focus the university sailing clubs’ attentions on their own behaviours and actions, however with the Platinum Award we also wanted to encourage the clubs to look externally at how they could have a larger positive impact.

“We’re excited that we already have sixteen clubs signed-up this year and two of which are taking part in our new Platinum Award. It’s wonderful to see the Challenge evolving, last year we introduced the Conscious Consumer category as a response to the rising interest in the life cycle of kit and clothing and it received great feedback from the students. Part of the Challenge’s strength is that we’re continually updating it with new ideas, actions and new clubs are getting involved.”

The USCs have from September until February to complete their award level criteria before the successful clubs are invited to the presentation ceremony at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show in Farnborough International Exhibition Centre. Each award-winning USC will be entered into a cash prize draw, which will be picked at random and split across each award level.

Are you part of a USC? It isn’t too late for clubs to sign-up and take part, visit The Green Blue website to find out more, or email

You can follow the progress of this year’s participating clubs on social media by following: #GreenBlueUniChallenge and @TheGreenBlue on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and @The_Green_Blue on Instagram.

Download high-res images here.

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