Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - Leaderboard

First in series of The Ocean Race Summits delivers in Genoa

by The Ocean Race 21 Sep 05:36 PDT
The first of The Ocean Race Summits underway in Genoa, Italy. © Ainhoa Sanchez / The Ocean Race

Impactful solutions to address the crisis affecting the health of our oceans have been showcased at the first in an international series of Ocean Race Summits in Genoa, Italy.

Organised by The Ocean Race, the day saw politicians, academics, professional sailors and business leaders gather in the maritime heart of Italy, inspiring guests to take action for our seas.

A host of businesses, at the cutting edge of innovation, such as circular economy leaders Aquafil, Interface and Ambercycle, explored scalable alternatives for manufacturers to use to transition away from the plastic that is entering the marine environment.

Explorer Alex Bellini, recently returned from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the World Wildlife Fund for Nature's (WWF) Stefania Campogianni, showed how widespread the plastic problem is in the Mediterranean Sea and the effect it is having on marine species.

Genoa's Mayor Marco Bucci detailed how the city is moving towards a more sustainable future as a week of climate action began in towns and cities across the globe.

To mark the climate strikes week, Francesca Ghio, Genovese leader of youth movement Fridays For Future, closed the conference, demanding decisive action to safeguard the future of the planet.

Anne-Cécile Turner, Sustainability Director of The Ocean Race, revealed that the round-the-world sailing race had signed up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework, making commitments to inspire others to take effective action too.

"We want to lead by example and by signing the UN Climate Framework we have committed to inspire other sporting events and reach beyond the sector with a message that if we want to protect our ocean and the planet then we all need to make our operations as sustainable as possible," Turner said.

The event was streamed to a global audience of ocean health advocates, bolstering The Ocean Race commitment to minimise the environmental footprint of the event as much as possible by encouraging people not to fly, and to follow via the live stream.

In a video address, Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, called for 'impactful action' to stop marine debris reaching the sea.

He said: "Events like The Ocean Race Summits are so important because they inspire, help raise awareness and galvanise action for healthy oceans."

Two-time Ocean Race competitor Mark Towill, with the 11th Hour Racing Team, and Olympic sailor and Ocean Race competitor Francesca Clapcich shared the stage to talk about their experiences encountering plastic debris in some of the most remote waters on the planet during the last edition of the round-the-world race.

The summits build upon the award-winning series from the last edition of the race and form a key element of the 'Racing with Purpose' Programme, in collaboration with Premier Partner 11th Hour Racing and with the support of Official Partner Bluewater.

"The colours, sights, and sounds of Genoa offer an incredible reminder of how our lives revolve around the ocean — in this case, the Mediterranean, which has seen history unfold and is crucial to the well-being of so many countries and global ecosystems," said Alessandra Ghezzi, Communications Director, 11th Hour Racing.

"The themes addressed today highlighted the local and global efforts to restore and protect the health of our seas. Simple, yet bold concepts, such as building boats without polluting our seas, businesses joining cross-sectoral collaborations, scaling innovative solutions globally, and a fashion industry that re-imagines its materials and processes to reduce its environmental impact. Using all of these concepts, and more, will empower us to stop the decline in ocean health."

Anders Jacobson is co-founder and CEO of Blue, the Stockholm investment company that owns water innovation leader Bluewater. He said Bluewater had put environmental care at the heart of its business mission with an emphasis on developing technologies and solutions that end the need for single-use plastic bottles and their mass transportation.

"As an impact-led investment company we greatly appreciate having the opportunity to explain why we believe today's businesses must look beyond shareholder profit to also embrace values around protecting the environment for future generations and dealing ethically with all stakeholders," he said.

To complement The Ocean Race Summits, an Innovation Workshop concept has been introduced as part of the programme of events. These seminars challenge industry leaders and experts to find new ways of working on a range of issues that link their value chain with ocean pollution. The topics examined in Genoa were 'Sustainable Fashion & Textile' addressing the specific issue of microfibers in the ocean and 'Sustainable Boat Building'.

Five of The Ocean Race Summits will take place before the next edition of The Ocean Race sets off from Alicante, Spain, in autumn 2021, with at least five more scheduled during the race period.

Related Articles

The Ocean Race: Building a team for a dream
The Austrian Ocean Race Project has christened its VO65 'Sisi' Last week, the Austrian Ocean Race Project launched its campaign for The Ocean Race with the christening of its VO65 race boat at a ceremony in Portopiccolo, in the Gulf of Trieste in Italy. Posted on 20 Oct
Itajaí returns as host city for The Ocean Race
Brazilian city to host fleet in 2021-22 edition The Ocean Race 2021-22 will stop in Itajaí, Brazil, marking the fourth consecutive time the city on the Santa Catarina coastline will host the iconic event. Posted on 17 Oct
11th Hour Racing gets feet wet with podium finish
Enright and Bidégorry race IMOCA 60 in Défi Azimut 48-hour race After launching their campaign this summer, the 11th Hour Racing Team, led by Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, have been focused on learning how to race the IMOCA 60 - the fast, foiling, high-performance, development class Posted on 16 Oct
Bekking sets sights on 9th campaign with Childhood
A veteran team has come together to launch a Swedish campaign in the VO65 class Bouwe Bekking, an eight-time veteran of The Ocean Race, has announced a new project with an eye on competing in the 2021-22 edition of the Race. Posted on 12 Oct
The Ocean Race: Still turning the tide
Dee Caffari talks about her plans for the next edition of the Race Former The Ocean Race skipper Dee Caffari talks about ocean health and her plans for the next edition of the Race. Posted on 10 Oct
Special Event status for The Ocean Race
The toughest test of a team in sport World Sailing is pleased to announce that the 2021-22 and 2025-26 editions of The Ocean Race, the global sailing event that is the toughest test of a team in sport, have received World Sailing Special Event status. Posted on 8 Oct
Italian city to host finish of The Ocean Race
The selection of Italy's top maritime city opens the event to a new audience Genoa will be the finish of the next edition of The Ocean Race, marking the first time the fully-crewed, around the world yacht race, known as the 'toughest test of a team in sport' will come to Italy. Posted on 23 Sep
Cabo Verde will host The Ocean Race
First ever West African stop in 2021-22 Cabo Verde becomes a new stop on the circuit as the next edition of The Ocean Race will visit a West African nation for the first time... Posted on 18 Sep
Fridays For Future joins The Ocean Race Summit
Youth movement to join global ocean experts at key Italian conference They will share the stage with politicians, professional sailors, business leaders and a host of experts examining the vital role business has to play in stemming the flow of plastic into our seas. Posted on 17 Sep
Teams and organisers set the race on track
The Ocean Race 2021-22 edition discussed in Alicante Workshop and information sessions were held on topics such as technology on board the VO65 and IMOCA 60 fleets, rule compliance, commercial and marketing opportunities, sustainability and marketing and communications. Posted on 17 Sep
Vaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 1Melges IC37 2019 FooterNaiad 660x82px_Rescue