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A marriage made in heaven? US Sailing and Sailors for the Sea

by US Sailing/Sail-World Cruising on 25 Jan 2011
Clean Regattas .. .
In a move that could see dedication to preservation of the maritime environment cemented into the culture of sailing in America, US SAILING, the USA's National Governing Body of the sport, has proudly announced a new partnership with Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation nonprofit organization focused on the sailing and boating community.

Yacht clubs and sailing centers around the country hosting US Sailing’s 2011 National Championships have taken the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regattas Pledge for Bronze level Clean Regattas certification.

Clean Regattas certification provides independent, third-party verification

that a yacht club, sailing program, or regatta is environmentally responsible, and is doing its utmost to protect and restore the waters upon which people sail. This program is an effort by Sailors for the Sea, in conjunction with committed participants, to reduce our impact on our oceans and coastal waters.

'US Sailing is committed to increasing awareness of ocean preservation and encouraging the protection of our environment,' explained US Sailing Executive Director Jack Gierhart. 'The future and health of sailing is dependent upon the health of our environment and waterways, and it is important for us to adopt best practices for environmental stewardship at our events and encourage sailors to support them wherever they may sail.'

US Sailing organizes up to 18 National Championship events annually, which are hosted by volunteer yacht clubs and sailing centers throughout the country. US Sailing’s National Championships provide an opportunity for U.S.

adult and youth sailors to compete at the national level and test themselves against the best in a variety of disciplines, including one-design, multihull, match racing, team racing, and offshore.

US Sailing’s National Championships will undertake several efforts in their Clean Regattas campaign, including:

• Recycling at all sites during race weekends, and throughout the season

• Providing water stations to help reduce single-use plastic bottles

According to Chris Mancini, program director, Sailors for the Sea, 'The commitment shown by US Sailing to ocean conservation through its pledge to our Clean Regattas program is greatly appreciated. Educating and empowering individuals to effect behavioral change are key to ensuring healthy oceans for all boaters across future generations. We thank each volunteer organization hosting a US Sailing Championship this year for their dedication and efforts.'

With three levels of certification (Bronze, Silver, and Gold) available, Clean Regattas participants select their level of engagement, and work to fulfill the related certification requirements by first forming a Clean Regattas committee for the event or a permanent committee for all club/organization governance and events to oversee the certification criteria. The criteria relates to:

• trash and recycling collection and disposal

• discharge

• oil spill prevention

• green cleaning products and bottom paint usage

• bottom cleaning and boat maintenance

Details about specific criteria standards are available online at www.cleanregattas.org.

A Clean Regattas designation by the Sailors for the Sea organization means all competitors agree to abide by Clean Regattas Certification Level requirements. Sailors for the Sea provides support and materials, and the final certification that a club or event is a Clean Regatta.

The Clean Regattas program is available for all interested yacht clubs, regattas and sailing programs, and is found worldwide. By participating in the program, clubs and regattas can realize a range of immediate economic benefits including:

• saving money by reducing reliance on plastic bottles, fossil fuels, and disposable products

• getting discounts on environmentally friendly products through the Clean Regattas program

• reducing excess spending by anticipating regulations and avoiding abrupt and costly changes due to new laws and related cleanup efforts

• attracting new sponsors, donors, investors, and foundations for non-profit clubs through the positive awareness of the Clean Regattas efforts

To make a club or an event a Clean Regattas, email chris@sailorsforthesea.org or visit www.sailorsforthesea.org.

About US Sailing:
The United States Sailing Association (US Sailing), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership, integrity, and growth for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US Sailing is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US Sailing offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.

About Sailors for the Sea:
Founded in 2004, Sailors for the Sea is a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters. For more information on or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit www.sailorsforthesea.org.
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