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Hempel World Cup Series Miami participants team up to rescue a coral reef

by Daniel Smith, World Sailing 18 Jan 20:10 PST
Coral reef © World Sailing

Ahead of the Hempel World Cup Series event in Miami, USA, sailors and officials teamed up on Friday 17 January to rescue a coral reef.

The expedition, led by World Sailing and the University of Miami, and supported by Hempel, World Sailing's Official Coatings Partner, and World Sailing's Beyond Sport Climate Action Award, saw six international sailors alongside further officials become citizen scientists.

Throughout the four-hour expedition, the sailors were able to learn about the stresses on coral reefs such as climate change and pollution before planting over 150 staghorn corals that had been nursery-reared by the University.

Laser Radial sailors Estere Kumpina (LAT), Valeria Lomatchenko (RUS) and Philipine van Aanholt (ARU), Finn sailors Kyle Martin (CAN) and Alexey Selivanov (RUS) and Laser sailor Tijn van der Gulik (ARU) all participated. US Sailing also supported through the participation of their Olympic Director, Meredith Brody.

The expedition supported World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030, sailing's bold contribution to global sustainability, with a view to providing education to international sailors as well as making a contribution to enhance the local environment through hosting a World Sailing event.

Dan Reading, Head of Sustainability at World Sailing, commented, "Today was a great opportunity for the sailors and officials to learn about the local marine environment, as well as carry out some hands-on citizen science whilst contributing to the health of the marine ecosystem.

"The regatta has partnered with the University of Miami for several years and we were excited to offer this expedition to sailors which proved to be very popular."

Dalton Hesley, Program Manager at Rescue a Reef, said, "Today was really successful. In total we were able to outplant over 150 corals which was amazing.

"Rescue a Reef is an extension of our coral research lab at the University of Miami, with a focus on citizen science. We want to better connect with the general public and actually have them play a role in our research and restoration.

"It was great to have sailors on board. They understood how to work as a team and learned very quickly. We accomplished everything we wanted to and then some! It was a pleasure to work with everybody today."

The sustainability focus in Miami did not end there. On Saturday 18 January, a mangrove clean was held for sailors and the local community.

Seventy youth sailors from a number of local sailing clubs joined Olympic sailors and hopefuls all working together to pick up plastic in the area. Working with local organisation 'Send it for The Sea' (who weighed the plastic) they were able to collect 295kg (650lbs).

This further demonstrates World Sailing's commitment to working with local organising committees to benefit the local environment.

Find out more about Rescue a Reef here.

Find out how to follow this year's Hempel World Cup Series Miami here.

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