Raising awareness of plastic pollution in Palma

Written by 29th March 2019 Featured-post, Team news

The British Sailing Team joined forces with hundreds of sailors from all over the world to raise awareness of plastic pollution ahead of the first major regatta of the European Olympic classes season.

Dozens of British sailors, coaches and support staff took to the beaches at Arenal and Can Pastilla in Palma, Mallorca, to pick up rubbish before the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta kicks off on Monday April 1.

Hannah Mills addresses sailors about plastic pollution ahead of the beach clean.

Hannah Mills addresses sailors about plastic pollution ahead of the beach clean. ©Jesus Renedo/SAILING ENERGY/50th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar

The beach clean was led by a group of sailors who are passionate about protecting the planet from the threat of plastic pollution including the British Sailing Team’s Hannah Mills, Brazilian gold medallist Martine Grael and Argentina’s Yago Lange.

The sailors, who have adopted the hashtag #sailors4thesea, collected  dozens of sacks of rubbish from the two sites, which will host the iconic regatta from April 1 to 6.

The beach clean was also supported by the regatta, which is implanting its Wave of Change project with support from sponsors Iberostar that will see no single use plastic used.

Megan Brickwood and Steph Orton

Megan Brickwood and Steph Orton help litter pick at Arenal beach ©Jesus Renedo/SAILING ENERGY/50th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar

“The beach clean was incredible,” said gold medallist Mills, who has previously addressed the IOC and UN Environment on sustainability in sport.

“Sailors, coaches, locals and kids came together to pick up litter and plastic from the beach where we are racing from.

“The beach clean stemmed from a group of sailors wanting to do more – to raise awareness of the plastic problem which is everywhere, nowhere is exempt.

“As Olympic athletes we have a responsibility to be role models and set an example. We have the power to make sure our events are as sustainable as possible and the knock on effect is exponential.”

Martine Grael, Yago Lange, Hannah Mills, Kahena Kunze and Iago Lopez Marra organised the beach clean.

Martine Grael, Yago Lange, Hannah Mills, Kahena Kunze and Iago Lopez Marra organised the beach clean. ©Jesus Renedo/SAILING ENERGY/50th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar

Racing kicks off on Monday April 1 and concludes with medal racing on Saturday April 6.

Follow the British Sailing Team’s progress at the Princess Sofia Trophy regatta on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.