12:45 Saturday 4 Aug 2018 Sue Pelling/LCWThumbs up for Sustainability Day

Young sustainability supporters in Cowes today photo Tom Gruitt/LCW

In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic used and to help highlight its impact on marine wildlife and the environment, Lendy Cowes Week organisers have invested in a sustainability programme.

Kicking off with Lendy Cowes Week Sustainability Day on the opening day proves just how passionate Cowes Week Ltd is in ensuring a more sustainable future for Lendy Cowes Week. Cowes Week Ltd has also signed up to the Sailors for the Sea 'Clean Regattas Programme' with the aim to reach Bronze level in 2018 and ambitions to build on the initiative in following years.

Kate Johnson – Commercial & Marketing Director Cowes Week Ltd – commented: “The introduction of Sustainability Day is year one in a longer plan to eradicate single-use plasticand make the event more sustainable in the long-term. We have a lot of support, and competitors are really embracing what we at Lendy Cowes Week are trying to achieve.”

Teaming up with aql, the Official Communications Sponsor for Lendy Cowes Week, Cowes Week Ltd have provided every competitor with a stainless steel reusable bottle together with large water canisters on regatta Committee Boatsto allow refills throughout the day.

aql has also installed water sensors on the Sunsail-funded water fountains, which are located in Cowes Yacht Haven and Shepards Marina.

Around the dockside this morning Bradley Dennis (9) and Alex Boulding (9) who were filling their water bottles before going sailing were keen to promote the initiative.

Alex Boulding said: “I feel that it is saving the environment because if you put plastic in the water it kills the fish, and when you catch the fish you’ll be eating plastic as well, so I think it is very important that Lendy Cowes Week has recognised this.”

Bradley Dennis (9) added: “I love this bottle. I have just filled it up at the Sunsail stand and I am taking it out sailing. Recently we also had a no plastic day at school where basically none of us were allowed to bring in any single-use plastic into school. Actually it was such a great thing that I am not going to use plastic again. 

Simon Boulding, Sunsail Events Director, chatting about the Sunsail-funded water fountains said: “Last year Sunsail funded the installation of two fountains and we funded that from our BlueGreen fund, which is donated by Sunsail customers when they book a holiday. They have an option to donate a small donation as part of their holiday booking and we keep that in a special fund, which we spend on environmental initiatives.”

Finally, little known but actually very important to mention is the use of Lendy Cowes Week bow stickers on every yacht, and the fact for 2018, event organisers have invested in non-PVC stickers, which are fully recyclable. If applied correctly, they should stay on the yacht for the duration of the week. They can then be recycled at the end of the regatta. Reports from analysis from last year’s event showed that in fact only one percent of the stickers ended up in the water, which is much more favourable than generally perceived. Regatta organisers acknowledge that this is the first step in a long-term plan to replace bow stickers with a more sustainable way to display event and sponsor branding.

Earlier News Stories

For earlier news stories, as well as results, videos and photographs from previous years, visit our comprehensive Regatta Archive.