Race Week News


Nantucket Race Week goes for Gold by being Green
August 4, 2010


Diana Brown,CEO

Nantucket Community Sailing





Nantucket, MA (Aug. 3, 2010)   The Nantucket Race Week Committee, organizers of the 38th Annual Opera House Cup and the 7th Nantucket Race Week, an eight day series of youth, one design, PHRF,  and 12 meter regattas, announces their commitment to earning Sailors for the Sea's GOLD Clean Regatta certification for all of their dry sailed and one design regattas.  Sailors for the Sea, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the world's oceans, awarded NRW bronze and silver Clean Regatta certifications in 2009.    

Nantucket Race Week, (August 7-15) eight days of regattas, social events and awards ceremonies, is the primary annual fund raiser for Nantucket Community Sailing (NCS), a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization.   NCS provides public access to Nantucket's waters through numerous community sailing and waterfront activities, as well as supporting Nantucket's high school sailing team.  Ensuring that Nantucket's historic maritime tradition lives on, NCS relies on Race Week to provide funding for its many community based operations.

Working with the support of ReMain Nantucket, NRW's title sponsor for 2009 and 2010,  NRW has focused on both reducing the overall trash, pollution and waste generated throughout Race Week as well as educating participants as to how their individual actions impact Nantucket's coasts and waterways.  In an evolving strategy, NRW broadened the scope for 2010 to include encouraging boat owners to use environmentally sensitive bottom paints.   NRW Co-Chair Steve Caulfield says "the long term health of our harbor and the ongoing success of Nantucket Race Week are interconnected.  We are asking our participants to voluntarily commit to simple actions, building over time, so we can minimize our impact on Nantucket's harbor and surrounding waters."   

To start, Nantucket Community Sailing painted 100% of its fleet with ePaint, and over the winter,  NRW hosts, Nantucket Yacht Club and Great Harbor Yacht Club, and local boat yards evaluated the use of environmentally sensitive bottom paints.  NRW's goal was to create awareness of the need to minimize the use of sloughing, ablative and cuprous oxide (copper) bottom paints, and the end result has been overwhelming.   NYC painted all of its support, mark and RC boats with a copper free (cuprous oxide free) paint, GHYC switched part of its sailing fleet, and boat yards through special Nantucket Race Week discounts with ePaint(a NRW Sponsor) have converted numerous motor and sail customer.  To increase awareness among competitors and to capture the extent of the change over time, on each NRW registration, competitors are asked to provide bottom paint data on their boats.

Additional steps taken for gold certification are the introduction of an annual Clean Harbor Award. The award, sponsored by NRW supporter, Carlin Contracting, for 2010 will be an "honor roll" recognizing the local individuals, organizations, and businesses who actively contribute to preserving and improving the water quality of Nantucket's harbors, ponds, wetlands and watershed areas, as well as embody the spirit of what NRW is attempting to achieve with its clean regatta initiatives.  

Working with the town and harbormaster, NRW, along with other interested entities, established a seasonal water quality study of Nantucket's harbor.  By systematically monitoring and analyzing water samples through a certified lab, the data collected will enable a better understanding of sources of water pollution, help boaters in the long run determine what they can do voluntarily to protect the health of Nantucket's harbor.

Going into its second year, NRW is committed to minimizing its impact on Nantucket waters by hosting greener and cleaner regattas.    Many steps are the same, but numerous new actions are added to the 2010 roster.   These include distribution of  2500 reusable stainless steel water bottles to participants, set-up of water refill stations on docks and launch areas, monitoring of water use, distribution of trash bags for collection,  free pick up of trash from anchorage and all docks, and distribution of samples of nitrate and phosphate free cleaning products.  Awards and merchandise are made from recycled materials and old NRW burgees.    For the Opera House Cup party, NRW's largest social event, compostable plates, napkins, and cups will be used.   Post the OHC, a "Green Team" will sweep through the party area to clear any remaining trash.  All registrations, NORs and SIs are on-line reducing the amount of paper used, and the NRW program is printed on recycled paper with soy ink.

At every gathering of racers, mention will be made of NRW's effort to be cleaner and greener;  participants will be asked to do water only wash downs during Race Week, to not discharge grey water into the harbor (free pump out available), to use the provided bilge sponges and dye tablets, and generally to be aware of their individual impact. 

Recognizing the importance of preserving Nantucket's coastal ecosystems, Nantucket Race Week has made environmental responsibility one of its highest priorities.  Susan Wayne, Co-Chair of NRW says "We are fortunate to be able to sail in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and we want to do our small part to preserve and keep it pristine."  Shared efforts with NRW sponsors, the town of Nantucket, Sailors for the Sea and volunteers of Nantucket Race Week have made the goals of protecting the environmental integrity of the harbor attainable.

www.NantucketRaceWeek.org -- a non-profit, educational organization that provides affordable access to sailing and water sports to the public.

www.OperaHouseCup.org -- The Opera House Cup Regatta is a cherished tradition, held on the third Sunday of August on Nantucket. The 38th Annual Opera House Cup Regatta will be Sunday, August 15, 2010.   The Opera House Cup Regatta was the first all-wooden, single-hulled classic boat regatta on the East Coast, and it attracts some of the finest sailboats in the country.  

www.NantucketCommunitySailing.org -- a non-profit, educational organization that provides affordable access to sailing and water sports to the public.

www.ReMainNantucket.org -- Dedicated to strengthening the lasting economic, environmental and social vitality of downtown Nantucket.

www.ePaint.com -- ePaint Company is committed to "Green Boat Maintenance" by responsibly developing and marketing marine coatings that are non-toxic to humans and safe for the environment.  

www.CarlinContracting.com -- a leader in environmental contracting, Carlin Contracting provides clients considerable resources to successfully complete each project.  Since 1975, Carlin has completed hundreds of diverse projects throughout the Northeast and New York including waste water and water treatment facilities, lined landfills, bridges and schools.

P.O. Box 2424, Nantucket, MA 02584
NCS Office: 508-228-6600 | Jetties Sailing Center: 508-228-5358
© 2024 Nantucket Community Sailing, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization