After achieving silver status in 2019, MacGlide Festival of Sails is “going for gold” this summer as part of a world-wide campaign to provide clean sailing regattas.
The Festival, which runs from January 25 to 27, 2020, has registered with the Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta program for the second year in a row, to provide a more environmentally friendly event and better protect local waters.
Event organiser, the Royal Geelong Yacht Club (RGYC), is aiming to achieve Gold Status in the Clean Regatta program for the event’s 177th year.
Established in 2009, the Clean Regatta program has more than 1000 registered events and is the world’s leading and only sustainability certification for water-based events.
The program provides a step-by-step system for regatta organisers to benchmark their current environmental footprint and set future goals. It also provides tips and resources for sailors to implement sustainability initiatives.
The tilt for gold is in line with RGYC’s environmental values and ongoing focus on reducing their impact on the ocean and protecting local waters.
It follows RGYC’s recent announcement of the Festival of Sails’ new naming rights sponsor, Mactac’s MacGlide – a world leading biocide-free fouling release film manufacturer.
To achieve Gold Status in the Clean Regatta, MacGlide Festival of Sails must achieve at least 19 (out of 25) best practices. These include assembling a Green Team, reducing the amount of paper used during the regatta, keeping the site clean, eliminating single-use bags, recycling and providing water refilling stations.
As the countdown to the 2020 event begins in earnest, RGYC has formed a Green Team which will comprise of 10 RGYC volunteers, whose focus will be on delivering the key initiatives.
In a new initiative, in partnership with Joco, skippers will be presented with a reusable coffee cup, eliminating hundreds of disposable cups just over the weekend.
Local Torquay company Joco, makers of the original glass reusable cup, serve their purpose of eco-innovation to protest single use plastic waste.
Festival Chairman Stuart Dickson said after achieving Silver Status in 2019, RGYC was focused on further improving the environment impact of the event in 2020.
“The Clean Regatta program provides a fantastic platform for promoting conversation with boat owners and the public about how we can better help protect our waters.”
“It also provides the club with ideas and ways we can better support the environment. Whether we are out on a boat or enjoying the waterfront festivities, we can all play a part in restoring ocean health.”
Mr Dickson thanked the support of boat owners and crew, along with festivalgoers for helping the event achieve silver status in 2019 and looked forward to going one better this year.
As part of the commitment to reducing plastic that ends up in the ocean, Barwon Water will once again provide a refill station inside the Regatta Village (inside the Royal Geelong Yacht Club grounds) for competitors and volunteers and a Hydration Station for the public on Steampacket Gardens. Participants and festivalgoers are encouraged to bring their own reusable drink bottles.
All market and food vendors taking part in the MacGlide Festival of Sails have also been asked not to provide plastic straws or plastic bags with their products and to provide alternatives to plastic plates and cutlery.
Each year about 150 volunteers assist the event in a variety of areas including helping to keep the event area clean and tidy and assisting with recycling.
According to Clean Up Australia Day, every year more than six million tonnes of rubbish is dumped into the world’s oceans.
Eighty per cent of this waste is plastic which can be deadly to marine life, with an estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile of ocean.
To enter the 2020 MacGlide Festival of Sails, please see http://bit.ly/FOS2020ENTERNOW
To register to volunteer with RGYC, please see HERE.