We are delighted to announce that UMSC participated in the University Sustainability Challenge, run by The Green Blue, for a number of year. In the 2017/18 academic year we won first place in the competition, with a prize of £500!

The Challenge focuses on raising awareness about the environmental impact of sailing and how we can be more sustainable, among both our own club members and also the sailing clubs where we sail.

Sustainability is very important to us because the future of our planet depends on it. Our actions now will impact future generations and it is important to educate those around us in order to make the world around us a better place for all. We need to protect our environment and make sure that all developments (social, economic, environmental) have long lasting positive effects on our community.

Manchester strives to maintain its Gold Level Award. Keep up to date with our progress here!

What is The Green Blue?

The Green Blue is the joint environment programme created by the RYA and British Marine launched in 2005. The two main issues they are trying to tackle this year are stopping the spread of non-native invasive species and encouraging environmental best practice in marine areas.

What is the Challenge?

The challenge involves Uni Sailing Clubs competing to undertake as many sustainable actions as they can throughout the academic year. By undertaking these positive actions they will have the opportunity to demonstrate to the rest of the boating community how achievable and rewarding sustainable boating can be.


There is a set criteria of sustainable actions that USCs make their way through and depending on how many a club completes will determine whether they achieve a Bronze, Silver of Gold Award.

Sustainable Actions

Sustainable actions include: ensuring sailing venues have a Spill Kit available to clean up any accidental spills when boaters are handling oil and fuel, ensuring members use re-usable sports bottles during training sessions and events to reduce waste and single use plastic bottles, and making sure boats, trailers and equipment follow the Check Clean Dry approach to minimise the risk of spreading invasive non-native species around UK waters.

Here are our 5 top tips to make your sailing more sustainable!

Top Tip #1

ALWAYS wash down your boats after sailing whether you’re a coastal or fresh water sailor. Get all those nasties off the hull and out of small nooks & crannies in the trailer to stop any lurgies from spreading along the coast when you tow boats up and down the country!


Top Tip #2

Ensure bailers, snacks, water bottles etc are all secure in the boat to avoid anything flying overboard during intense gybing battles or those “cooling-off swims” – look out for reusable bottles with handy handles like this swanky one!

Top Tip #3

Did you know just 1 litre of oil or fuel can pollute over 1 MILLION litres of water?! Make sure if you’re using RIBs for coaching or umpiring you have an oil spill kit at hand when refuelling – refuel away from water, slowly and carefully refuel using a funnel, and always tighten the screw cap properly after use.

Top Tip #4

Think about the wider impact your sailing has off the water:

– Car sharing or taking public transport to your sailing club or events is not only a great way to reduce fuel consumption bus can also be really sociable!

– If you take lunch or snacks to a long training session try local farmers markets or businesses which source their produce locally to reduce food miles.

– Although everyone hates having to deal with wet kit when they get back tired after a long day don’t forget to wash kit at a cool temperature of 30 degrees to save energy and keep your kit in tip-top condition! And don’t spend too long in the shower as the average shower uses almost 8 litres of hot water a minute!

Top Tip #5

Think of the animals! (And birds, and plants..) It’s not just the health of the water we should be considering when we sail, it’s also really important to be aware of our impact on the wildlife in and around the sailing club. Following Check Clean Dry procedures can reduce the spread of invasive species and taking care refuelling can minimise water pollution but there’s more you can do!

– conduct a litter pick both on and off the water to reduce pollution and protect small animals and birds which could get trapped

– When moving boats around stick to the proper paths to avoid trampling other areas

– Be aware of how noisy you are on and off the water, while we all love a deafening protest call it can scare away wildlife!