Blog: 52 Super Series – The World’s Premier Grand-prix Monohull Racing Circuit and Leaders in Sustainable Sail Racing
That’s it for another year of superb racing from the 52 Super Series. Yesterday the final race kicked off at 12:30 CEST and was won by Sled who also won the overall regatta in Porto Cervo in Sardinia over the last four days. Azzurra has been crowned the overall winners of the season. Congrats to all the teams and of course particularly this years series winners Azzurra and runners up Platoon in second and Quantum Racing in third overall. A big thank you also to the organisers of the race and the teams and their owners too, we love being a part of the series.
Now the action overs, just, we thought it would be a good opportunity to look back at the sustainability efforts made by the series in conjunction with their sustainability partners like ourselves over this season. We want to look at initiatives taking place at each race as well as the campaigns to promote the importance of preserving our oceans through the 52 Super Series #ProtectOurPlayground campaign.
The 52’s sustainability program is run through a partnership with 11th Hour Racing, a part of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Network. The charity works with the ‘sailing community and maritime industries to advance solutions and practices that protect and restore the health of our ocean’ as their website explains. Through sponsorships, ambassadors and grantees, 11th Hour Racing promotes sustainable practices while educating the importance of them in the maritime industry. Sponsorships include The 52 Super Series and The Ocean Race, formally The Volvo Ocean Race. They also offers grants to organisations such is Emily Penn’s eXXpedition boat, circumnavigating the globe, with an all female crew, undertaking scientific research on ocean health. Others to receive grants have included, Clean Ocean Access, Clean Seas – Turn The Tide on Plastic and World Sailing Trust to name just a few.
Working with 11th Hour Racing, the 52 Super Series has attained ISO 20121 certification in the last few years, a standard of excellence for sustainable management of events. This has been achieved through implementing a number of initiatives to not only reduce their environmental impact but also promote and educate on the importance of sustainability. We take a look at some of those initiatives below, many of which can be applied to all boats and marinas.
Water Purification Systems & Reusable Bottles
The series has teamed up with Bluewater Purification Systems who donated hydration stations to deliver chilled still and sparkling water at each race stop. This has allowed teams to use refillable water bottles meaning they don’t have to rely on bottled water. At the Puerto Portals, Mallorca stop alone in 2018, 5000 litres of purified drinking water was served up to competitors, staff and passers-by; representing an environmental saving of 10,000 regular-sized (500ml) plastic water bottles.
Regular Beach & Underwater Clean Ups
The series has implemented regular beach and underwater clean ups at each event, teaming up with organisations like Menorca Preservation Fund and Beach clean Menorca to help clear up plastics on the beaches and debris from the water of the harbours of each regatta location.
Reducing fuel consumption and emissions from the support RIBs is another focus. A ten percent reduction in speed equals a significant decrease in fuel consumption. When this is multiplied across ten chase boats, over ten days, at five regattas, this amounts to a big impact. The RIBS are now also being asked to carry oil spill kits as standard.
Food Waste and Local Sourcing
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, roughly one-third of the food produced in the world (for human consumption) each year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – gets either lost or wasted. This means a massive squandering of the resources used to make this wasted food, amounting to totally unnecessary production of greenhouse gasses that contribute to global warming. The 52 Super Series teams have been encouraged to think about their food waste, source locally where possible and only use suppliers who use reusable containers to reduce plastic pollution also.
Alongside 11th Hour Racing, the 52 teams have been visiting yacht clubs to deliver #ProtectOurPlayground workshops. The series also runs workshops to younger generations to educate on the importance of protecting our oceans.
Using Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Of course Ecoworks has also been involved with the series providing our range of sustainable and ocean friendly cleaning products for the boats. This means they have been able to if not eliminate their chemical run off from the boats from cleaning and maintenance products by using Ecoworks. Our products are PH neutral and phosphate free and meet the ultimate level of biodegradability. This means the boats can be looking race fit without affecting their playgrounds staying true to their #ProtectOurPlayground moto.
We’re incredibly proud to be a part of a series that is genuinely taking sustainability seriously as some of the above approaches show. Many of the efforts can be applied to everyday sailing and even everyday life. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the series to promote and support sustainability efforts within the series and beyond.