Newport This Week

Newport Bermuda Race Wins Gold in Sustainability



Sustainability, in recent years, has become a larger focus in the world of competitive sailing. More and more events are striving to keep races environmentally friendly, and one of the events succeeding on that front is the Newport Bermuda Race.

The race recently earned gold-level certification from Sailors for the Sea’s Clean Regattas program. The Clean Regattas system has five levels: Participant, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum, and outlines 25 practices to make an event more sustainable.

The Newport Bermuda Race achieved 19 of those 25, reaching gold-level status for the first time. The race earned Clean Regattas certification in 2014 and ’16, but this is the first time it reached the gold level.

“Actively engaging all the competitors and the race community in the principles of sustainability was a major step forward,” Joe Harris, leader of the Newport Bermuda Race Green Team, said in a press release. “It got everyone thinking about how to protect the oceans and shorelines where we love to sail.”

Among the practices achieved were organizing a Green Team of volunteers, reducing the number of single-serve plastic water bottles used by competitors in favor of reusable containers, providing water refill stations and making the race a “Trash Free Regatta.”

Harris said that more can still be done before the 2020 race.

“We need to do a better job on composting, making it more available in both Newport and Bermuda,” he said. “And I know we can recruit more volunteers for our Green Team so we are more visible in our green T-shirts and keep environmental best practices front and center.

“We also would like to provide every competitor in the 2020 race with a branded, reuseable, insulated cup/mug to use for all beverages throughout the race. That should get rid of a ton of plastic.”


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