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Green Blue - Water bottle squad - York UniversityWill you take on the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2016-17?

Following the success of the 2015-16 challenge, which saw 10 University Sailing Clubs taking action to make their sailing more environmentally sustainable, The Green Blue, the joint environment programme of the RYA and British Marine, is running the challenge for the next academic year.

The Green Blue awarded the prizes to the winners of the University Sailing Sustainability Challenge 2015-16 at the BUSA Team Racing Championships at Grafham Water Sailing Club on 31 March.

In first place and receiving a £500 prize was York University Sailing and Windsurfing Club, in second place and winning the £250 prize was The University of Strathclyde Sailing Club and in third place, after battling off a number of other clubs, was the University of Plymouth Sailing and Powerboating Club which won the £100 prize.


Supported by British University Sailing Association, the challenge involves USCs competing to undertake as many sustainable actions as they can throughout the academic year. Through these actions they will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable and rewarding sustainable boating can be.

Sustainable actions include ensuring their sailing venue has a Spill Kit available to clean up any accidental oil and fuel spills, ensuring members use re-usable sports bottles during training sessions and events and making sure boats, trailers and equipment follow the Check Clean Dry approach to minimise the risk of spreading invasive non-native species around UK waters.

Green Blue - water bottle use - Oxford University


Sustainability Officer for York University Sailing and Windsurfing Club, Blair Davies said: “The sustainability challenge has been great in stimulating new attitudes as to how our club operates. As an environmental science student the challenge gave me the chance to apply my knowledge to lessen the environmental impact of YUSWC. The Green Blue initiative gives impetus to UK sailing clubs to be greener. It is very gratifying and something every club should get on board with.”

Participating clubs have to complete and evidence as many of the 14 sustainable actions as they can to achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award level by 20 February 2017. The top three universities that evidence the most sustainable actions will be invited to attend the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace in March 2017 to receive prizes and certificates on the main stage.

If you know or are part of a university sailing club that is interested in getting involved or want to find out more about the challenge contact Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue’s Environmental Outreach Officer, at or call 023 8060 4227.

You can cheer on next year’s University Sailing Clubs through the sustainability challenge by following @thegreenblue.

For more information about The Green Blue visit


Written by Kate Fortnam, The Green Blue Outreach Officer