The World Sailing Trust – A Catalyst for Change
In June of 2018, it was announced at the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit in the Netherlands that a new global charity had been launched - the World Sailing Trust, a unique governing body that has been described by World Sailing as a ‘catalyst for change’ in marine conservation. In an interview with Dee Caffari, Chair of the Trust, we discuss the newly founded World Sailing Trust and the future of yachting in an age of increasing concern for marine conservation and protection.
What steps can superyacht owners and crew take to be more environmentally friendly when out on the water?
There are steps that we can all take to reduce our dependence on single-use plastic, and these actions need to be taken on and offshore for it to have an impact. Using a refillable drink bottle for hot and cold drinks is a good place to start. Avoid pre-packaged food and buy loose products were possible and steer clear of plastic cutlery or straws.
Cleaning products are another critical element. We all know superyachts spend more time cleaning in harbours and anchorages than most, so using eco-friendly products that contain MARPOL compliant ingredients allow us to show our care for the ecosystem around us and help restore ocean health. These are simple changes but critical ones at the same time, and they are relatively easy to do but have a big impact.
Start to be more conscious about what you are buying and where it will end up. With a little effort, you will find that there is always an alternative to be found. No matter how small the change, it will make a difference.
Do you feel that superyacht owners and crew could benefit from the actions of the World Sailing Trust?
Ultimately everyone will benefit from the work the trust will undertake and the efforts we put in now will have an impact on future generations. For those of us that spend a great deal of time at sea, the benefits are obvious. The single-use plastic issue has permeated every ocean on the planet and we have to take drastic action to address this. Superyacht owners will be well aware of the plastic pollution and no doubt want to join the growing movement to tackle this. The planet can do with all the help it can get so the more people we can encourage to take action, the better.
Should conservation be a top priority for the next generation of owners?
My most recent project was very much focused on sustainability, specifically around the single-use plastics issue, so this is an area I do feel strongly about. However, it is also vitally important for the sport of sailing to encourage participation and to become more diverse. Improved accessibility will open up the sport so that we are constantly expanding the pool of talented young sailors coming up through the ranks.
Which particular issues regarding marine conservation are of top priority for the World Sailing Trust?
Initially, the trust will focus on sustainability at events. This would include encouraging and promoting low carbon technologies and the use of sustainable products. We want to be a driving force in educating and changing behaviours and one of the best places to start is at key sailing events across the globe.
What are the World Sailing Trust’s future goals and targets?
There are three main areas that the trust will focus on. The Marine Health Fund will look at the protection and health of waters across the world. This will involve looking at the creation and use of more sustainable products and activities, along with the promotion of low carbon technologies and behaviours. The trust will also look at single-use plastics used at events and competitions and alternative fuel sources for support boats.
The Youth Pathway Fund and Access Fund will launch in 2019. The former will provide access to training, coaching and competition for talented young people around the world. The latter is all about improving accessibility to the sport of sailing by enhancing diversity across the sailing community and encouraging the take-up of sailing at all levels.
In 2006 Dee Caffari became the first woman to sail solo around the world the wrong way, non-stop. Three years later, Caffari became the first woman to sail solo and non-stop in both directions around the globe, coming sixth in the Vendée Globe event. This bold and courageous sailor has completed more non-stop circumnavigations of the globe than any other woman. As skipper of 'Turn the Tide on Plastic' — a mixed, youth-focused team with a strong sustainability message — Dee Caffari completed her sixth lap of the planet in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. As of June 2018, Caffari is also the inaugural chair of the World Sailing Trust.
"Ultimately everyone will benefit from the work the trust will undertake and the efforts we put in now will have an impact on future generations. For those of us that spend a great deal of time at sea, the benefits are obvious."