It is the 30th year of the popular competition this year there is a focus on reducing plastic and ensuring the event is more environmentally sustainable.
The Championships will run on Saturday and Sunday at Strangford Lough Yacht Club where over 160 sailors will also compete for the highly coveted Northern Ireland Schools Cup and Club Trophy.
The Green Blue Charter is a UK-wide environmental awareness initiative which was developed by the RYA and British Marine and its aim is to work towards promoting a sustainable boating community.
In line with the Charter, RYANI has this year committed to ensuring the Youth Championships have an environmental focus which will ultimately safeguard the waters and habitats for the future.
Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful has also supported the Green Blue Charter and have provided litter pickers for the event. In 2018 the Green Blue and RYANI has already delivered a series of workshops to educate clubs and instructors in Strangford Lough, which is an area of natural beauty.
Through the workshops, the importance of protecting marine habitats and species, including birds, was highlighted. A new-look website has also recently been launched, which provides useful resources as well as educational activities for young boaters that can be delivered on the water and onshore.
The most popular of these is Marine CSI which gives young people the chance to become marine special agents by analysing fingerprints, unscrambling puzzles and testing water samples. Other resources include instructor teaching aids to help pass on environmental good practice to students on RYA courses, a variety of eye-catching infographics and video clips to help communicate sustainable boating top tips via social media, e- newsletters, emails, news articles and display screens.
Campaign manager Kate Fortnam, said: “The Green Blue is excited to announce the launch of its brand new website. The new site will provide bespoke information on key environmental issues, current best practice guidance, green products and services, as well as an array of awareness raising resources to help boat users, clubs, training centres, instructors and marine businesses in communicating the good practice we can all adopt and facilitate to make our boating more sustainable.”
The Green Blue also provides outreach activities to help the recreational boating community raise awareness and share good practice among others. Activities include workshops at RYA, British Marine and stakeholder conferences, presentations at the RYA Dinghy Show and Southampton Boat Show, talks to boating clubs, businesses and organisations, training for RYA instructors and interactive activities and stands for boating events.
The Green Blue continues to work closely with the marine leisure industry and develop partnerships with those keen to raise awareness and help make UK boating more sustainable, including Sunsail Ltd, Dean & Reddyhoff Marinas, Elvstrom Sails, Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy, RS Aero Class Association, the Personal Watercraft Partnership, British University Sailing Association (BUSA) and the Andrew Simpson Foundation. The campaign has given them the tools to raise awareness and put in place facilities to enable their staff, customers, members, competitors and spectators to become ‘Green Blue Champions’.
By working towards an environmentally self-regulating boating community, The Green Blue aims to help boaters minimise the impact they have on the environment and protect wildlife and its habitats so they can enjoy the marine environment far into the future.
To get an insight into The Green Blue’s activities, explore collaborative opportunities, discover current good practice and access the variety of resources visit www.thegreenblue.org.uk follow @thegreenblue on social media, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Kate Fortnam on 023 8060 4227.
Phot Credit: Bradley Quinn