From: Guest Contributor, Jeff Pomeroy
Published April 18, 2014 11:32 AM

The Atlantic Cup looks to raise awareness on Rhode Island’s increasingly polluted shorelines

The 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing, now entering its fourth year as the United States premiere class 40 yacht race, continues to lead the way in clean sailing and increasing ecologically awareness in the sailing community. 

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In 2012, the Atlantic Cup became the first carbon-neutral sailing race in the country by offsetting an estimated 23,030 pounds (10.45 metric tons) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Last year, in partnership with 11th Hour Racing and Green Mountain Energy Company, the Atlantic Cup was chosen as the first event to meet all the requirements to earn Sailors for the Sea Clean Regatta Platinum Level Status. 

The Atlantic Cup will once again maintain its commitment to being the most environmentally responsible sailing race in the U.S. by using biodiesel hydro generators, solar panels and fuel cells to limit the use of fuel during competition, recycling waste, and becoming a plastic water bottle free event. This year’s efforts are different in that they will include a more visual representation of the damage being done to Rhode Island’s shorelines. Rhode Island holds a special place in the sailing community with many teams and boats calling the Newport Shipyard home. Newport also serves the home to Manuka Sports Management, the event organizers, and the final destination in the three city competition.

Teams will start in Charleston, SC on May 10 and depart on a 685-mile leg to New York City. Following a brief stop-over in New York City teams will race a 240-mile leg to Newport, R.I., making The Atlantic Cup the longest offshore race on the east coast of the United States this year. The third and final leg will consist of two days (May 24 & 25) of inshore racing in Newport. Teams confirmed to compete in the two-man boats include Flatline, Pleiad Racing, Dragon, Gryphon Solo II and jeffreymacfarlane.com.

On Saturday, May 24th the event organizers, along with Clean Ocean Access, will spend the day removing the debris along the entire shoreline of its race route. Clean Ocean Access will be leading the course-wide cleanup efforts from Pell Bridge to Beavertail (in Jamestown) and Castle Hill (in Newport). Along with Clean Ocean Access other Rhode Island non-profits will facilitate the clean-up including: Clean Bays, Aquidneck Land Trust, Save the Bay, and Green Drinks of Newport. The event aims to have 500 volunteers.

Following the cleanup, portions of the debris will be displayed at Fort Adams State Park (May 24/25) allowing spectators and residents to see what is being left along our shorelines. For more information, see the Atlantic Cup Course Wide Shoreline Cleanup page.

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