be the change?

Big Pimpin'

In the endless search for performance, how can sustainability be embedded into new boat builds…

Would it surprise you to know that the carbon footprint of building one new Imoca 60 is about the same as the average footprint of manufacturing 105 Renault vehicles? ‘Considering that this footprint has almost doubled from 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent 10 years ago to 570- tonnes CO2e today, it’s a real wakeup call,’ says Damian Foxall, 11th Hour Racing Team’s sustainability manager.

‘As an industry, we’ve been moving much too fast in the wrong direction. We’ve seen amazing gains in performance but the indirect outcome is that our greenhouse gas emissions have gone through the roof. Collectively, we have this tunnel vision about performance at all costs and that has to change.’

We like to think of sailing as inherently sustainable but the uncomfortable truth is that to align with the Paris Agreement – which is the bare minimum of action needed to avoid catastrophic climate change – the racing yacht industry needed to cut its carbon footprint by at least half to achieve this first target by 2030.

Since the Paris targets were set, the yacht racing industry’s emissions have continued to increase and the task ahead now requires a full U-turn to achieve a radical de-carbonization of our sector. 11th Hour Racing Team is on a mission to identify potential solutions, test their viability, and share them with the industry. Read on.