Working to help the environmental sustainability of sailing.

Irish Sailing are taking steps to help support and encourage sailors, clubs, centres and boat owners to reduce the impact our activities have on the environment.

We will be working closely with the development of World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030 and delivery of the agenda will be ongoing. 

In the meantime Irish Sailing have been working on a few actions of their own to help Irish Sailors, Events and Venues reduce their impact on the environment and work towards ensuring Irish Sailing remains Environmentally Sustainable.

With Damian Foxall as our Sustainability Ambassador we hope to spread the message of how much we can all benefit from keeping our sport clean and sustainable for the future, by making a few simple changes to our habits and routines while on and off the water.

You can follow our simple weekly TIPS on social media to help you get ready for the season ahead - GET READY TO BE GREEN.

This page is packed with useful ideas and links for sailors, events, venues and boat owners. 

Happy Green Sailing on Blue Waters.

Sailors can make a difference


There Are So Many Ways You Can Help to "Turn the Tide On Plastic"

Get Started 

Here are a few ideas to get you started next time you hit the water ...

  • Say no to straws
  • Avoid products with microbeads (e.g. toothpastes, beauty products)
  • Choose products with no or less packaging
  • Bringing own take-out containers
  • Remembering reusable or bio-degradable bags
  • Use a refillable water bottle and having a water refill tap available
  • Avoiding pre-packed lunches in plastic bags for sailors on the water
  • Reuse cutlery and crockery (avoid disposable plastics)
  • Bars of soap instead of soap in a bottle
  • Jugs of water and glasses at meetings instead of individual plastic bottles
  • A “leave no waste” policy which include penalties for competitors that are caught leaving waste (biodegradable or not) behind them
  • Use and return trolley tags for re-use
  • Consider the Biodiversity of the waters you are sailing, windsurfing or powerboatin on - be aware of potential invastive species

We’ll add to this list with your ideas – so let us know what you do to avoid plastics ! email Gail on

Did you know that Chillys Bottles give Irish Sailing Members a 10% discount on their amazing insulated bottles? Check em out here.

Irish Sailing Sustainable Event Guidelines

Basic Guidelines for event organisers we recommend are -

  1. ECO OFFICER / GREEN TEAM … Give the role to a prominent and influential member and create a team
  2. WASTE … Provide clearly labelled set of waste recycling bins.
  3. WATER … Label drinking water taps for refillable bottles.
  4. REDUCE OR REMOVE … decide on your policy for single use plastic drinks containers and announce it.
  5. NOR … Mention your environmental policies in NOR (see below).
  6. SAILORS FOR THE SEA … Register your event and follow their guidelines -
  7. REDUCE … Consider the amount of waste that ends up in the ecosystem following the event when giving out branded goody-bags (even the stickers for boats for example).
  8. SHARE .. your environmental message and guidelines.
Sustainable Considerations for Events

Sustainability goes beyond plastics and refuse. Consider these elements when planning your event ...

  1. Source of food and drinks
  2. Education and Legacy
  3. Energy Efficiency
  4. Transportation Options
  5. Collaboration and Sharing
  6. Signage & Clothing Materials
  7. Accommodation sharing
  8. The next step
Sustainability in Notice of Race



We recommend that events have an Environment Sustainability notice on their Notice of Race. It could say this ...


  • Environment Sustainability
    • As part of the venue's commitment to reducing the environmental impact of the event, we request that competitors, team leaders, coaches, volunteers, race officers and all stakeholders follow the Irish Sailing event sustainability guidelines. Details published here (or put your own sustainability event page url here).

We recommend you publish the guidelines on your event page or send them to this page.

Recommended Guidelines for Event Participants and Support Crew

Irish Sailing recommend that competitors, team leaders, coaches, volunteers, race officers and all stakeholders endeavour to follow the following guidelines at all events ...

  1. Boats should be washed down prior to travel to the venue and before leaving to avoid transfer of invasive species (particular consideration is required for inland waters);
  2. At venue boats should be cleaned with water or bio clean products, as many deck soaps contain phosphates and nitrates that can dramatically affect water quality and can harm sea life;
  3. All coach or spectator boats must have spill kits (advise on this to follow soon);
  4. Coach boats and spectator boats will be kept to a controlled number and boat share encouraged;
  5. No rubbish left in the boat park which could blow into the water;
  6. Bring personal reusable water bottles, as no single-use plastic bottles will be allowed in the venue (refill points will be available);
  7. Bring own reusable bags and food containers;
  8. Ensure correct use of the venues waste bins on site for recycling, composting and landfill.
Event / Venue Sustainability Posters

Irish Sailing have made a range of posters you may find useful to download for use in your centre or club.

If you would like a personalised poster for particular refil points list or seperation bins please just ask and we are happy to organise it for you.




You can make a difference



Platinum Award

Irish Sailing Women at the Helm achieved Platinum from Clean Regattas

You can do. Ask how, email

Initiatives that help


Here are just a few of the organisations and initiatives that may interest you ...

Irish Sailing and Clean Seas

Turn the Tide on Plastic

We all know the need to reduce the amount of plastics in our seas and oceans. Each year at least eight million tonnes of plastic leak into the ocean; it’s time to take action.

Irish Sailing has taken the Clean Seas “Turn the Tide on Plastic” pledge which will see us working to reduce the amount of plastics we use in all the events we host.

That includes looking at things like using recyclable or biodegradable materials for events, from promotional materials to catering,  and thinking proactively about how small changes can impact positively.

To find out more and how you can pledge go to

Clean Coasts

The Clean Coasts is programme run by An Taisce and has a number of initiatives and campaigns you can join to make a difference -

  • Join your local Clean Coast group or set one up
  • #2minute Beach Clean
  • Think before you flush
  • Beat the Micro Bead
  • A wide variety of competitions, talks and awards.

Take a browse through to find a programme that fits your life

Sailors For The Sea

Sailors For The Sea is a non profit organisation that helping to share a greater awareness of how to care for our oceans. One of their initiatives is Clean Regattas, which will give you and your events ...

  • Best Practice Guides
  • Green Team advice
  • Publicity Advice
  • Certification

Find out more here

The Ocean Race Sustainability Message

The The Ocean Race spread the message of plastic pollution as they sailed round the world with ...

  • Ocean Summits
  • Education Programmes
  • Impact and Footprint assessments and much much more ...

You can see all the action and ideas on how you can make a difference here