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Sailing Towards Sustainability: Earth Day Reflections from the Bermuda Race

April 22, 2024

By Kate Somers


On this Earth Day, we want to highlight our environmental stewardship program that aims to instill a culture of eco-responsibility within our Bermuda Race and larger sailing community and check in with those e-stewards already preparing their boats for the 2024 race just 60 days away.

Starting with the 2022 edition,  the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee (BROC) urged captains to designate an "environmental steward" aboard each participating boat. The response was heartening, with 50 e-stewards stepping up to the challenge, steering their crews towards conscientious planning and provisioning, mindful of ocean health. They have shared some of their best practices and ideas on bermudarace.com.

Chan Reis, the Environmental Stewardship chair for the BROC, underscores the significance of this initiative (see an article he has written for our 2024 Bermuda Race Program), emphasizing the vital connection between sailors and the ocean playground they traverse. "Adding an e-steward to your crew is one way we can focus attention on that imperative," Reis affirms. (Designate your crew today in the Entry System!)

So far in 2024, 30 boats that had already appointed an e-steward. We asked them to let us know what they are doing to bring sustainability practices into their preparations:

  • Dave Johnson, Safir, highlights the transformative power of collective action. "The crew had not considered me as the type of person who necessarily focused on 'green' causes or sustainability, but I convinced them there were real actions we could all take to make a difference," he shares.
  • Karen Harris, Assarain IV,  echoes the sentiment, emphasizing the significance of every choice made onboard. "Every item on board is a choice," she asserts, emphasizing the importance of selecting eco-friendly alternatives, from compostable garbage bags to reusable utensils.
  • Tori Gimple, Banter, champions innovative solutions, noting the game-changing impact of initiatives like stackable water containers.
  • David Bice, Raven, says his owner, Gary Hooper has installed new energy efficient batteries to reduce running the engine.
  • Paul Cunningham, Gunga Jin, says they are using Marine-life friendly antifouling paint Pettit Odyssey Triton chosen for minimum impact to the environment.
  • Jeff LoSapio Skadi, says they have eliminated any non-reusable plates, cups, and utensils. Everybody gets 1 plastic plate and cup; and a several years ago we evaluated 8 different options to find the perfect spork. The crew loves their sporks!"
  • Andrew Baris Dire Wolf, outfitted 5-gallon jugs outfitted with a pump for refill of personal reusable water bottles.  

Learn more about the resources and initiatives at www.bermudarace.com/sustainability. We are looking for 100% Participation in the e-steward program, PICs please designate your crew member in the Entry System! 

Happy Earth Day!

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