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Sailing organisations partner to promote sustainable innovation

Offshore sailing racing team 11th Hour Racing is partnering with The International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) in a bid to drive sustainable innovation.

The partnership will also support opportunities for female sailors and shore crew within competitive sailing.

The partnership will help promote and develop a series of programs that the IMOCA Class has been working on over the last four years including providing support for projects related to building with alternative material sources plus a carbon fibre recycling pilot project.

“IMOCA and 11th Hour Racing can create a powerful force for good in world sailing with our shared interests and determination to reduce the environmental impact of the sport we love,” explained Antoine Mermod, IMOCA Class president.

“I can’t think of a better organisation than 11th Hour Racing for us to work with – given their established track record on environmental projects, on inclusion and on efforts to preserve the oceans and the creatures that live in it.”

Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing CEO, highlighted IMOCA’s work to foster diversity, and to quantify and limit the environmental footprint of new boat-builds.

“This partnership raises the bar for standards within sailing.”

Jeremy Pochman, 11th Hour Racing CEO

“This partnership raises the bar for standards within sailing and reinforces our shared mission towards a more equitable and sustainable future, both on and off the water,” he said.

The programmes that 11th Hour Racing will support will focus on reducing the marine industry’s environmental impact with the aim of reducing emissions.

IMOCA will work with both boatbuilders and equipment suppliers to source and develop alternative materials such as flax or recycled carbon and on recycling projects.

Data on water quality and climate will also be collected as part of a science-based initiative together with technology and research work on collision avoidance with mammals during races.

The programmes are seen as essential for offshore sail racing to survive.

“IMOCA is gearing itself up for a future where these elements will become essential. If we don’t start looking into them now, it will be too late,” said Imogen Dinham-Price, sustainability and partnerships co-manager at IMOCA.

“And if we are able to share with our community all of the innovations and data we have gathered, and shine a light on sustainable approaches, that will give offshore racing the best chance of surviving.”

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