Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

Bermuda Race Green Team features E-Stewards in boost to sustainability efforts

by Bermuda Race 8 Jun 11:19 PDT
Improved sustainability practices of sailing crews will help preserve the marine environment from Newport's Narragansett Bay to Bermuda's Great Sound © Bermuda Tourism Authority

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee has made sustainability a focal point of the biennial race. The past three editions of the 635-nautical mile race (2014, '16 and '18) have been recognized by Sailors for the Sea as "clean" regattas, culminating with a Gold classification for the 2018 race for its effort to minimize the impact on the environment.

This year race organizers hope to achieve Platinum-level status—the highest level—and have laid out objectives to eliminate single-use plastic, maximize recycling and reuse, encourage thoughtful provisioning, and promote the use of environmentally friendly boat and dish-cleaning solvents that lack harsh chemicals, among a long list of suggestions. Competitors are also encouraged to fuel their boats with biodiesel or alternative fuels, to limit grey water discharge and to have designated water bottles for each crew member to eliminate single-use plastic bottles.

To oversee this effort, organizers asked skippers this year to consider adding an Environmental Steward to their crew rosters, and the position has generated great interest. Approximately 50 'E-stewards' will be spread throughout the fleet, collectively forming the Green Team, which will help oversee the race's sustainability goals while racing to Bermuda.

"An E-steward is a member of the racing crew interested in developing and promoting expertise around environmental sustainability and best practices onboard," said Chan Reis, head of the Newport Bermuda Race Green Team. "All racing crews have specialists in their areas of the boat, such as trimming or the bow. If we want to advance sustainability goals, it seems natural to round out a crew with someone whose expertise is in this area."

The E-stewards are the focal point of the race's ethos to "leave no trace" while at sea, which is a component of the Notice of Race for the 52nd Bermuda Race. Besides monitoring their boat's waste, E-stewards are also being asked to consider doing environmentally related data collection while at sea. They've been asked to take logs of plastic gyres, derelict fishing debris, or balloons, either manually in a notebook or using new Smart phone apps like the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker.

"The E-steward goes beyond the event—beyond the sustainability initiatives that are happening onshore—in giving that responsibility and ownership to every team competing in the race," said Shelley Brown, the Executive Director of Sailors for the Sea, Powered by Oceana. "It's been really exciting to watch this start and take off."

Dave Johnson (Middletown, R.I.), the E-steward aboard Andrew Kallfelz's Arcona 460 Safir, drafted optional guidance that is posted on the Bermuda Race website's sustainability page under the heading "Green Team Ideas." The site is an ongoing platform for the sailing community to post tips, plans or photos.

Johnson plans to minimize black and gray water discharge and has urged his crewmates to screen their personal gear before the race, to remove things such as plastic clips, straps, wrappers or outer packaging.

"The less material we have aboard to handle, separate, dispose of or manage, the less likely it is to end up in a place where it shouldn't be," he said.

The E-steward for Nicholas Orem's Naiad 440 Wassail will be his 16-year-old granddaughter, Ella, who jumped at the opportunity when it was presented to her. "I think it won't be too hard having a chat with everyone on board. Being the youngest and also the only girl on the boat, I feel like I can say, 'Guys, listen up! This is what we're doing!'" said Ella Orem with a smile.

"I am very interested in environmental science. In living, I try to keep my impact fairly low. A lot of the things you can do on the boat are similar to things you can do every day," said Ella. "I have a lot of little ideas. Mostly, just making sure we are not using plastic wraps. There is a nice substitute like 'Bee's wax' wraps. Using reusable Tupperware, reef-safe sunscreen, when we're cleaning the boat, we can use non-toxic options like baking soda and water. That's a good substitute."

If you're interested in the joining the Green Team, write to . For more information, visit the Newport Bermuda Race's Sustainability page or read more about the Green Team's approach to sustainability.

Related Articles

US Sailing inquiry to report on overboard incident
After the tragic loss of Colin Golder on Sunday in the Newport Bermuda Race Since the tragic loss of Colin Golder on Sunday and our statement that evening, the ensign at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club has flown at half mast and been solemnly observed by members and visiting sailors at colours each evening. Posted today at 6:34 am
Bermuda Race winners
Including Illusion, Warrior Won, Prevail, Argo and Groupe 5 Overnight, the great majority of the 186-boat fleet arrived in Bermuda and yesterday's provisional divisional leaders have all been confirmed as the winners in the 52nd running of the Newport Bermuda Race. Posted on 22 Jun
Warrior Won & Callisto duel to finish in Bermuda
Provisional leaders of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and St. David's Lighthouse divisions A pair of Pac52 class boats, Christopher Sheehan's Warrior Won and Jim Murray's Callisto, renewed a lively rivalry in a race to the finish of 52nd Newport Bermuda Race last night. Posted on 20 Jun
Sailor dies in Newport Bermuda Race
Captain of yacht Morgan of Marietta loses life after going overboard We regret to report that our Fleet Communications Office for the 52nd Bermuda Race received a report of a crew overboard on the racecourse this afternoon. Posted on 20 Jun
Argo had a rough Bermuda Race record run
"The whole crew is wiped out. We're tired." Small jibs and reefed mainsail were sails of choice for both Jason Carroll's MOD 70 Argo and second-place finisher Malama from 11th Hour Racing. Posted on 19 Jun
Argo sets new Newport Bermuda Race record
MOD70 trimaran is the first Saturday finisher in history of storied race Jason Carroll (New York City) and the crew of the MOD70 Argo outran every elapsed-time record associated with the Newport Bermuda Race when they completed the 52nd edition Saturday night at 2320:09 (ADT). Posted on 19 Jun
Argo on Record Pace in 52nd Newport Bermuda Race
Carroll and crew aim to be first-ever Saturday finishers in legendary race At 1130 hours this morning, Jason Carroll's MOD70 Argo was setting a blistering pace in the 52nd Newport Bermuda Race. The foil-assisted trimaran was making 18 knots on a heading due southeast just to the west of the rhumbline. Posted on 18 Jun
52nd Newport Bermuda starts in blustery conditions
From a ripping ebb tide to thunder squalls, today's start had a bit of everything At approximately 1642 hours this afternoon, Christopher Stanmore-Major's Gran Mistral 80 Osprey entered the course of the Newport Bermuda Race and drew to a close one of the most unusual starts to the race in recent memory. Posted on 18 Jun
The 52nd Newport Bermuda Race starts tomorrow
A fleet of 187 yachts is set to sail the “Thrash to the Onion Patch” With a forecast that looks fresh to frightening for at least the first 36 to 48 hours of the race, a fleet of 187 sailing yachts is set to take on the challenge of the Newport Bermuda Race tomorrow beginning at 1310 hours. Posted on 16 Jun
52nd Newport Bermuda Race: How to watch the start
Starting on Friday with a first warning signal at 1:00 pm for a 1:10pm start Whether you know someone competing in the Newport Bermuda Race or you're an avid fan who might have the race on your bucket list, there are many ways to follow the 2022 race as it starts on Friday with a first warning signal at 1:00 pm for a 1:10pm start. Posted on 15 Jun
Coast Guard Foundation FOOTER 3Cyclops 2022 May FOOTERZhik 2022 Hooded Towel FOOTER