Team Ocean Respect Racing Addresses Marine Debris Issue In Sydney Harbour

By 11th Hour Racing

The crew, joined by Clean Up Australia, gathered on Whiting Beach in Sydney Harbor. Pictured from left to right: Libby Greenhalgh, Sarah Wilmot, Sophie Ciszek, Terrie-Ann Johnson (Managing Director and CEO of Clean Up Australia), Stacey Jackson, Dee Caffari, and Vanessa Dudley. Photo credit: Salty Dingo/Ocean Respect Racing

The crew, joined by Clean Up Australia, gathered on Whiting Beach in Sydney Harbor. Pictured from left to right: Libby Greenhalgh, Sarah Wilmot, Sophie Ciszek, Terrie-Ann Johnson (Managing Director and CEO of Clean Up Australia), Stacey Jackson, Dee Caffari, and Vanessa Dudley. Photo credit: Salty Dingo/Ocean Respect Racing

While preparing for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the all-female professional sailing team, Ocean Respect Racing, joined forces with Clean Up Australia, the iconic, not-for-profit Australian environmental organization, to raise awareness for how rubbish finds its way into the ocean, and encourage positive behavior change. On Tuesday, team members gathered on Whiting Beach in Sydney Harbor to get a better understanding of the rubbish that lurks beneath a seemingly clean harbor. The team removed 12 bags of trash, filled with soft plastic wrappers from food, cigarette butts, plastic water bottles, and many tiny plastic pieces that were unidentifiable. As part of its commitment to leave a lasting legacy in Australia, 11th Hour Racing awarded a $10,000 grant to Clean Up Australia to support the organization’s mission and expand its waterway cleanups.

“I had an eye-opening moment off the coast of Brazil during the Volvo Ocean Race, when we sailed past a fleet of oil rigs that was letting off so much heat and gas, it created its own weather system. Knowing that’s the start of how plastic is produced, I realized spreading this message wasn’t going to end for me when the race did,” said Stacey Jackson, Skipper of Ocean Respect Racing. “Being on the beach with Clean Up Australia, and removing marine debris was a strong reminder of why I formed this team. That’s why I am thrilled to support Clean Up Australia and work together to encourage Australians to ‘turn off the tap’ on plastic pollution.”

In collaboration with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia – the organizers of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Clean Up Australia also will ensure that all 92 yachts entered in the race are able to recycle their waste, by including a dedicated recycling bag in all competitors’ packs. The bags will be collected on arrival in Hobart, where waste will be disposed of and recycled properly. 

Read the full press release here.

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