• Patrick Hutchings

World Oceans Day

I have always had a strong level of ocean connectedness coming from Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City, and this has carried through from a young age right up until now, pursuing my dream of becoming a sailor as well as promoting a strong message of sustainability through my campaign and in my daily life. This is where the idea of Sail4Sustainability came from, with Plymouth being a pinnacle for promoting these ideas, through groundbreaking messages shared through platforms such as the National Marine Aquarium and the University. With this in mind, there was no question that this would be included in any campaign, now and in the future, and it was just about what actions and tools I needed within sailing in order to be a sustainable as possible.

Currently, I have adapted the day to day runnings of how I sail and what I use which will help both protect the ocean and keep as much plastic out of the waters as possible. Equipment that I use on board is pushed as much as possible to be plastic free, through small items like the water bottles I use on board, to the clothing which I use, with Gill being strong ambassadors for this and providing great sailing wear that doesn’t compromise my goals, both performance orientated and the impact it has on the environment. Their new OS2 range is made from a staggering 98% recycled material! The toxicity of products is also something I try to minimise, with the potential to make the mistake of using suncreams and cleaning products with ingredients that can be harmful. This is something I feel can really be overlooked when washing your boat off as its so easy to forget about the impact for ecosystems below the water. I recently read a really interesting study where it was with an estimated 14,000 tons of sunscreen are deposited into the ocean annually, and the importance to check which active ingredients are in the bottle of sunscreen that you used as its such an easy change to make, which can have such a large impact.

I have recently become an ambassador for Clean Sailors, an ocean conservation non-profit organisation which focuses on promoting a shared message of suitability through the platform of sailing and create and ocean ambassador out of every sailor around the world. It is inspiring to be surrounded by so many sailors who share a passion for the sea. With projects such as ReSail by Clean Sailors and Cleaner Marina, they are also making a physical impact on the conservation of our ocean and helping our sport become more sustainable. I am really proud to be apart of the crew and looking forward to building on this partnership throughout my career.

The future can be scary when looking at the staggering facts that surround human based actions that have impacted the current state of the ocean and especially how sailing impacts this. Despite this, my goal is to continue to better sailing as a whole and all future campaigns I have. One dream which I have, and one which I have already started working on is to sail and race a boat that has as little impact on the environment as possible, using all the modern technologies to allow this to happen. One of example of how technology has moved forward is in the last few years we have seen a massive advancement in sustainable fibres and boat production. This is an area at the moment that is helping to create a circular lifestyle for boats and ensures that they are not just disposed of in landfill after we have finished sailing them.

Even though World Oceans day is a crucial reminder as to how much work we have left to do to protect it, it is also an important reminder to all of us to get outside and enjoy it as much as possible, in whatever way as we are so lucky to utilise and benefit for all it has to offer. Happy World Oceans Day!

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