With just a week to go until the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship officially opens at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA), event organisers are looking forward to an environmentally friendly regatta thanks to a series of green initiatives put in place for this premier youth sailing event.
With some 350 of the world's best young sailors from 64 nations set to take to the Weymouth waters, event organisers have linked up with The Green Blue - the RYA and British Marine Federation's joint environmental initiative - to help promote environmentally friendly boating by putting several green measures in place for the 2006 Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship.
Kate Moore, RYA Planning and Environmental Advisor explains 'We want to encourage even the youngest boaters to respect and look after their playground. We have looked at several ways that we can promote our environmental boating message at this event and have been able to put some measures in place to ensure this will be a green event.'
Mike Golding, ambassador for The Green Blue and current FICO and IMOCA World Champion, will visit the event on the regatta's lay day (Monday 17 July) in his newly refitted Open 60, ECOVER, to help spread the environmental message amongst the young competitors.
Sailors, spectators, race officials and all other boaters associated with the event will be encouraged to leave the water cleaner than it was when they arrived by picking up any rubbish that they see floating in the harbours on their way in from racing.
The Green Blue, Dorset County Council and the Weymouth Borough Council will provide recycling bins to encourage competitors, volunteers and visitors to sort and recycle their rubbish.
Each year billions of plastic bottles are buried in landfill sites taking hundreds of years to decompose, so to avoid this waste competitors and volunteers at the event will receive refillable water bottles instead of disposable bottles.
Mains-fed and sealed water coolers, courtesy of PHS Waterlogic, will be placed around the site so sailors and those involved in the event can fill their bottles before going afloat. The PHS Waterlogic dispensers are also complete with a 'sleep mode' which saves electricity and a compressor which features eco-friendly R134A gas.
All RIBs taking part in the event, from coach boats to safety boats will carry spill kits to help clean up any minor spills.
WPNSA already has several environmentally friendly practices in place, including solar panelled energy which is collected and monitored daily, which will add to the environmental initiatives being put in place. Boats at the centre are also washed down with grey water (collected rainwater) instead of using fresh water.
Weymouth College has also joined in the green efforts and have arranged for two art lecturers to create a giant beach mosaic made from rubbish collected from Chesil Beach. The mosaic will be on view during the opening ceremony, from 1600-2000hrs on 13 July on the beach opposite Alexandra Gardens.
The opening ceremony (13 July) will host several live musicians and from 1845-1915 at Alexandra Gardens a 'rubbish band' from Weymouth College will play percussion instruments made from recycled materials such a oil drums, plastic containers and gas pipes.
The Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship 2006 (12-21 July) is organised by the RYA on behalf of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).