Cowes Week Ltd, organisers of Cowes Week, the world’s largest regatta and a highlight of the British Summer Season, is continuing to work towards making the event more sustainable with the event due to begin on Saturday 10th August.
CWL is signed up to the Sailors for the Sea ‘Clean Regattas Programme’, a voluntary, self-assessment tool that provides a system to benchmark what the environmental footprint is today and set goals for the future. Cowes Week has achieved a Silver Certification.
This year, CWL has taken the decision not to give competitors bow stickers or decals for their boats in what is sure to be a popular move with the increasing concern about plastic entering the sea. It is, however, recognised that bow stickers are a useful branding tool for the event and for sponsors, especially in images and CWL has come up with an innovative solution: using virtual bowstickers, which will be applied to a range of images, post-production for use by the press and in event communications and marketing.
CWL will also not be issuing competitor wristbands, which in the past have not been recyclable. Instead all competitors will be able to use a code in the event App in order to access a range of competitor-specific benefits including offers and discounts across the regatta.
CWL would like to encourage all competitors to avoid single-use plastic and to instead use refillable water bottles. CWL will be once again working with aql, Cowes Week’s Official Communications sponsor, who will be installing water sensors on the Sunsail-funded water fountains situated at Cowes Yacht Haven and Shepards Marina to monitor usage throughout the week. On the water, all the regatta support boats will be supplied with large water canisters to allow crew to refill throughout the day. Cowes Week Ltd is once again encouraging local shops and cafés to offer free water refills to anyone with a re-usable drinks bottle. Businesses interested in joining the scheme will be given a sticker indicating their participation to the public.
Kate Johnson, Commercial & Marketing Director for CWL said: “Making the regatta as sustainable as we can is a real priority for CWL. We’re delighted to have removed the need for bow stickers this year, which will help further reduce our environmental footprint. We are encouraging all our competitors, regatta staff and race management volunteers to move away from single-use plastics. Obviously our competitors need to stay hydrated out on the water, and the temptation is to load up the boat with plastic drinks bottles, so we hope that all competitors will say no to single-use plastic and bring refillable drinks bottles with them. We continue to work with our four Official Venues, and hope that the decrease in plastic and non-recyclable food containers will be noticed, and of course, not to have any plastic straws on-site this year.”
Cowes Week 2019 takes place from the 10 – 17 August.