The Green Blue, the Royal Yachting Association and British Marine’s joint environmental programme, threw a green light on sustainability at this year’s virtual RYA Dinghy Show as well as annoucning the university sailing sustainability challenge winners.

On the second day of the show, Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue’s Campaign Manager, was joined on the virtual Main Stage by iQFOiL athlete, Saskia Sills, passionate young sailor Harry Slight from Emsworth Sailing Club and Courtney Burroughs, Regional Volunteer for The Green Blue. They were encouraging positive action from boaters by discussing why protecting their sailing environment is important to them and what changes water users can make to safeguard the waters they rely on for their wellbeing and enjoyment.

The Green Blue also announced which of the participating university sailing clubs have successfully completed the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge (USSC). The Challenge has been supported by the British Universities Sailing Association since it was first launched in 2015 and continues to grow year-on-year. Each university which has completed the required sustainability actions in its award level: Bronze, Silver, Gold, will be entered to win a cash prize draw, sponsored by eco-friendly clothing brand, OceanR.

The USSC Award Winners

A huge congratulations to all of the award winners this year, thank you for putting in so much effort into raising awareness about the importance of sustainability within sailing and everyday life.

A special congratulations to the University of Bath Sailing Club for claiming the top prize of £450! If your club would like to be involved next year, have a look for more information on The Green Blue's website and have a look across Facebook and Instagram to see the different activities and initiatives these clubs were invovled in.

Finally, here are some words from our BUSA Midlands Chair, Kate Ledgard, who has been our main pioneer for the sustainability challenge this academic year:

Firstly thank you to everyone for taking part, to Kate for organising and OceanR for sponsoring the prizes. This year there’s been a real focus within the BUSA committee to encourage environmental thinking and a change in attitudes. As you all know, as sailors our playground is the ocean, lakes and watercourses, and maintaining these environments and ecosystems is vital for continued enjoyment of our sports. We as university sailors are part of the generation where climate change will take hold and show its effects, so its important to us we minimise these as much as possible, as soon as possible. The Green Blue Challenge is a platform from which we can start to make our change, through raising awareness.

This year’s initiatives started with our ‘Sustainability in focus Week’ which included an interview with world sailor, Dee Caffari, who’s important messages included one of reversing societial norms from the consumerist disposable to the sustainable and reusable. We published some guides to help unis run events and their clubs in a more environmentally friendly fashion, that will hopefully take effect in the next couple of years.

In terms of the challenge its been an very interesting year, with a record number of unis signed up, but we should say a special well done to those who have successfully completed an award in these challenging times.