World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award Finalists Announced

Four exceptional finalists have been shortlisted for the 2022 World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, representing the full spectrum of global sustainability initiatives within sailing and the marine industry.
The 2022 nominees are:
The Flipflopi Project
Fundación Ecomar
EurILCA Sustainability Program

The World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award celebrates the delivery of high-impact, highly-replicable sustainability initiatives, aligned to World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030.

Public voting to help determine a winner will be open from Tuesday 27 September with the winner announced at the World Sailing Awards on Tuesday 25 October 2022.

The shortlist was determined by an expert judging panel chaired by Alexandra Rickham, World Sailing’s Head of Sustainability. The panel also featured the most successful female sailor in Olympic history, Hannah Mills, OBE, nine-time world champion and two-time America’s Cup champion Peter Burling MNZM, polar explorer Lungi Mchunu, world renowned marine photographer Cristina Mittermeier, founder of the Foiling SuMoth Challenge Bruno Giuntoli and Todd McGuire, Managing Director of 11th Hour Racing, sponsors of the award.

Alexandra Rickham, World Sailing’s Head of Sustainability, said: “The quality and variety of submissions impressed the judging panel, and selection of just four was an incredibly difficult decision. We have chosen standout projects covering a diverse range of activities throughout sailing, including recycling programmes, educational initiatives, and sustainable solutions for issues facing the entire sport, which have huge potential to make sailing more inclusive and more responsible.

“We now look forward to opening up the voting to the public and sharing these four wonderful projects with a wider audience. The aim of this award is to raise awareness of the excellent sustainability projects happening all over the world, and inspiring others to make a difference to their event, club or community. I’d like to encourage everyone to take part and vote as we all strive to contribute to sailing’s involvement in global sustainability.”

“11th Hour Racing is once again proud to support innovation throughout sailing and the marine industry as we harness the power of sport to inspire solutions for the ocean, our community and our planet,” said 11th Hour Racing Managing Director Todd McGuire.

“We look forward to feedback from the public as we continue to provide real-world examples that can provide the blueprint for organisations and individuals, both in sailing and across other sports, to examine the possibilities for increasing sustainability within their field.”

The winner of the World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award will receive a $10,000 USD prize to help further their sustainability activities, as well as an iconic trophy made from recycled carbon fibre.

About the 2022 World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award Nominees:

The Flipflopi Project

Based in Kenya, the Flipflopi Project is a circular economy movement that has successfully built the world’s first sailing dhow from 100% plastic waste and 30,000 washed-up flipflops. Through boat-building innovation and three sailing expeditions, the Flipflopi Project has developed an alternate use for plastic waste and created a compelling communication magnet, attracting media, policy-makers and public attention like no other plastic pollution initiative in Africa or the Indian Ocean.

This in turn has inspired the development of practical community-led recycling centres around East Africa including establishing the only Plastics Material Recovery Facility and Recycling Centre in Lamu, Kenya, as well as a Heritage Boat-Building School to design and construct recycled plastic sailing vessels with local boatbuilders based on indigenous ‘dhow-building’ skills.

Flipflopi’s long-term goals are to work with ocean and lake-dwelling communities to create scalable, sustainable waste management and plastic recycling centres, as well as the research and development of further innovations in plastic boat-building – ultimately to create more sailing vessels that capture hearts and minds of millions as they sail to raise awareness of the urgent need to beat plastic pollution.

Flipflopi works in logistically challenging areas, including remote island states, and in low-income areas surrounding Lake Victoria.

Fundación Ecomar

Over the past 23 years, Fundacion Ecomar has carried out activities through a program in over a hundred sailing schools and clubs all over Spain and Portugal. Over 15,000 sailors each year have learned how to reduce waste, separate it correctly to promote circularity and play an active role in taking care of the seas and coasts.

The goal is that all those entering the sport of sailing learn how to take care of the sea whilst learning to sail. This is carried out through Ecomar´s program that starts by educating, continues by raising awareness and, later on, calls them to action. Learning through experience from a young age has proved to be the most effective way to embed sustainability in sailors.

Ecomar was founded by Theresa Zabell over 23 years ago after she retired from Olympic sailing having won two gold medals in the Olympic Games.

EurILCA Sustainability Program

From its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the EurILCA Sustainability Program has raised awareness about sustainability by presenting numbers and facts about climate change.

The idea for the program stemmed from the fact that at the international level, federations have the power to modify and impose restrictions on boats participating in the Olympics. More accurate data can be collected by analysing the CO2 emissions related to the production of equipment following a Life Cycle Assessment on the boat, sail, boom, mast, ropes and all the other accessories that can make up a boat.

The EurILCA Sustainability Program has created a model to measure and compare emissions, beginning with surveying athletes on the equipment they buy each year and throughout the four-year Olympic cycle. The survey then determines an accurate Life Cycle Assessment of the Olympic boats with immediate solutions to reduce the impact, as well as legacy solutions, and then a monetary index related to the CO2 emission and the EU Carbon Permit to make clear how much money needs to be invested due to the climate change shown in the IPCC report.

The application of this model will not only be applicable to Olympic sailing but to every level and sector of sailing. It can also be used by all other sports that have large equipment such as canoeing, rowing, skiing, cycling.


For over 10 years, Greenboats, based in Bremen, Germany, has pioneered the design and manufacture of natural fibre products and components, demonstrating and establishing sustainable alternatives to conventional composite materials. A key milestone was the design, build and concept testing of the FLAX27 Daysailer, a 27-foot keel boat built almost entirely from organic or recycled products, i.e., flax fibres, cork, recycled PET and bio-epoxy resins.

Regatta wins and miles sailed proved the FLAX27’s performance against traditional approaches and caught the eye of Vendee Globe sailor and Greta Thunberg associate Boris Herrmann and Team Malizia, leading to a productive partnership and an opportunity to showcase the application of Greenboats’ materials at the pinnacle of offshore sailing. Malizia’s new IMOCA, Malizia-Seaexplorer, showcases 49 Greenboats components manufactured from sustainable materials that successfully rival their traditional counterparts.

Drawing on the newest materials, highly-skilled craftsmanship and precise bio-composite technical data collected over several years, Greenboats has been able to ensure the sustainability, durability and competitive mechanical properties of all components. The project goal is to globally showcase that sustainable materials can withstand the harshest of marine environments and can ultimately change the footprint of our sport.