Vendee Globe & Sustainability

ACCIONA at sea. © Jesus Renedo / ACCIONA

ACCIONA at sea. © Jesus Renedo / ACCIONA

With the last finishers of the 2012-2013 Vendee Globe race making it in to port, our office is sad to see this awesome race coming to an end. However we see much to celebrate with the high priority placed on renewable energy by the boat ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered, which made it 98% of the way around the world without a drop of diesel! (The keel is to blame for the capsize that prevented finishing not a lack of diesel fuel)

Spaniard Javier “Bubi” Sanso, the skipper of ACCIONA, used a combination of solar panels, wind generators, and hydro generators. While many boats have some of these items, the combination of all three with a strong battery system and an electric engine allows ACCIONA to be self-reliant. A recent article from the NY Times notes the importance of having all three devices: “He will lean more on different systems as he goes,” Feliu said. “The race starts in France in the winter; that impacts the solar panel. He has less sun then when he started, but down there it’s summer and the degrees of the sun’s impact are greater. He has speed for hydro generators. There will be less wind in the tropics but more sun.”

Solar panels aboard ACCIONA. © Jesus Renedo / ACCIONA

Solar panels aboard ACCIONA. © Jesus Renedo / ACCIONA

ACCIONA was the first boat to ever be entered into the Vendee Globe with an electric engine, in fact the rules had to be changed to allow the boat into the race. We are excited to see innovators such as Sanso, his team and his sponsor, ACCIONA, pushing for change in the sport of sailing and making reducing their carbon footprint a priority in their racing!

For more information on this topic read, Eco-Power? Strangely new in Sailing, by Chris Museler.

America’s Cup World Series achieve Platinum Clean Regatta certification

Green Team sorting at recycling station.

Green Team sorting at recycling station.

Sailors for the Sea is recognizing the America’s Cup World Series San Francisco regattas each with the first-ever Platinum level Clean Regattas certification. These regattas are the first to achieve platinum level certification, which recognizes achieving almost all possible points.

Some innovative highlights that helped the America’s Cup achieve this certification include:

  • Styrofoam (from computer packaging) was donated to Waste to Waves – to make surfboards!bike guide
  • Sourced Non-PVC branding materials for signs/banners
  • Providing free local drinking water for spectators
  • Use of of biodiesel and solar for event power
  • Serving only sustainably harvested seafood
  • Compostable service ware at concessions
  • Strong plan to encourage spectators to use bike and public transit
  • Outreach programs promoting marine protection through the America’s Cup Healthy Ocean Project.
  • A 98% landfill diversion rate at the second ACWS San Francisco event last October. Green teams helped separate, trash, composting, and recycling. 9.89 tons of waste was recycle, 3.28 tons composted, and only .27 tons sent to the landfill.

IMG_0968We are very excited to see the progress made by the America’s Cup World Series events in regards to their commitment to Clean Regattas, which started by achieving a Bronze level certification at the first event in Cascais, Portugal. Sailors for the Sea executive director Dan Pingaro notes, “The AC World Series events have been conducted with a high degree of environmental consciousness and attention to minimizing any potential negative impact the events could have on the local ecosystem. Together we have established a strong track record of success that includes action and education.”

For more information, read the full press release.