Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 on January 17-22 is doing its part to restore ocean health by participating in Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas Program.
Organizers at the Storm Trysail Club, which took over management of Quantum Key West Race Week last year, will implement several measures at this year’s regatta with the goal of achieving “Bronze Level” Clean Regattas certification.
“All responsible sailors should do their part to make as little impact as possible on the environment,” said John Fisher, chairman of Quantum Key West Race Week 2106. “The Storm Trysail Club believes strongly in the Clean Regatta Program and is committed to doing everything possible to minimize the environmental footprint of our events.”
The Storm Trysail Club embraced the Clean Regatta Program this past year by bringing the 50th anniversary edition of Block Island Race Week into compliance. The club unanimously agreed it was a positive step in the right direction and wanted to extend the initiative to Quantum Key West Race Week.
“Storm Trysail is proud to host this largest and most diverse international regatta in North America,” said Commodore Lee Reichart, “and we are embracing the program for the first time in this event’s long history. We are committed to work towards higher levels of certification in the future since this is an important alignment with the principles of our permit to respect the ecosystems in the waters of the National Marine Sanctuary off of Key West.”
Bill Canfield, site manager for the event, has implemented plans to control garbage collection and ensure it is shipped to disposal facilities that specialize in manufacturing reusable products. All volunteers and race committee personnel will be asked to use refillable water containers in order to reduce the amount of plastic bottles being thrown away. Captains of the various vessels being used on the race courses will be extremely careful to avoid oil and gasoline spills.
“Our goal is to do more and more each year to meet the standards set by Sailors for the Sea,” said Canfield, who hopes to eliminate plastic bottles altogether next year. “Once you begin to work with the folks at Sailors for the Sea they help you find additional ways to be environmentally conscious.”
Sailors for the Sea is a leading conservation organization that engages, educates, inspires and activates the sailing and boating community toward healing the ocean. In 2015, 38,000 sailors participated in the Clean Regattas program at 189 regattas in 14 different countries. Of those events, 75 were international and the other 114 events were run in 20 different states. Since the programs start in 2006, over 800 events have used the Clean Regattas program to reduce their environmental footprint.
“Sailors for the Sea is proud to work with Key West Race Week for the first time in this regatta’s long standing history,” said Robyn Albritton, Sustainability Director with Sailors for the Sea. “We are thrilled the event organizers have dedicated their efforts to reducing the events environmental impact and are work in to protect the beautiful waters they race in which are part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.”
Sailors for the Sea has compiled a Clean Regattas Checklist of 25 best practices toward reaching new heights on the sustainability ladder. Regattas earn Gold, Silver and Bronze level certification from the organization based off a 75-point system. Albritton will be attending Quantum Key West Race Week 2016 to help organizers incorporate more items on the checklist in future years.
More info on Quantum Key West Race Week at keywestraceweek.com.