Yesterday was a perfect day for sailing on Sydney Harbour – light-to-moderate NE breeze, sparkling sunshine, flat water, and not much commercial traffic. All the SailGP boats were out having a practice. They could not have wished for better conditions or a greater promotional photo-op for the local media.

So what did we read in today’s Sydney Morning Herald? This curious little snippet, which we quote here in its entirety:

Sail GP goes green: boost in future fires
A mobile solar energy system and off-grid Powerwall developed by Tesla could be used in bushfire-ravaged communities and disaster zones after it is trialled during the second SailGP season. The system will power the battery container for the revolutionary F50 boats, which will zip around at speeds of up to 50 knots per hour during the opening event on Sydney Harbour this week. SailGP chief executive Sir Russell Coutts has set the ambitious target of reaching zero carbon by 2025 and the powerwall system is the signature development of the second series. “You wonder this can be used for another application as well.”

Maybe the reporter was just fishing around for an angle, but duh? Larry and Russell discover sustainability? “Zero carbon by 2025”? Maybe that’s not counting the carbon from the millions of air miles clocked up by the SailGP executives, staff and crews each year, and the carbon pumped into the atmosphere by their flotillas of tenders, chase boats, cranes and forklifts.

It is odd that Coutts should make this half-baked pitch for environmental credibility rather than promote the event itself. Surely the sporting spectacle has more appeal than any tenuous claim that a Tesla battery might help bushfire victims. Or are the SailGP supremos already losing faith in their own product?

As for that “by 2025” bit, well, there aren’t many in the sailing business prepared to bet that this travelling circus will still be around five years from now. There may then be quite a few tons of carbon in need of safe disposal.

– Anarchist David