BLUE is delighted to have been chosen as the official charity partner for the Transat Race 2016.
The Transat Race began when a handful of British sailors made a bet to see if they could sail across the Atlantic to America single-handed and who could do it the fastest. The whole idea of a single-handed yacht race was revolutionary and almost unheard of at the time. In 1960, under the management of the Royal Western Yacht Club of England, the Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race, or OSTAR, was born.
The Transat Race ties in nicely with BLUE’s current focus in the Atlantic on a protected zone in the waters around Ascension Island, which have extraordinary biodiversity. At the beginning of 2016, BLUE was delighted to announce that the UK government had declared a “no-take zone” almost the size of the UK around Ascension. BLUE is now working to encourage the British government to protect more of its overseas territories elsewhere in the Atlantic, including around Bermuda, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha.
Hervé Favre, Event Director for The Transat, is delighted that BLUE is coming on board for the race:
“The Transat crosses some of the oldest fishing grounds in the world and, as sailors, we know just how fragile these ecosystems are. Having BLUE alongside us can help to raise awareness of the crisis facing the world’s oceans.”
BLUE’s relationship with The Transat builds on its wider partnership with race organisers OC Sport. The company, which owns and organises a portfolio of professional sailing and amateur running and cycling events, has entered into a partnership with BLUE across all its events.
Clare Brook, chief executive officer of BLUE, views the race as a perfect vehicle to highlight the work the team at BLUE is doing:
“Sailors and marine conservationists have something in common: we both have huge love and respect for the sea,” she said. “We understand its power, but we also understand that it is not a limitless resource. “We at BLUE are thrilled to be named as official charity of The Transat because we hope that the very people who care most about the ocean will learn about the work BLUE is doing to protect it. “The Atlantic is facing the same problems as the rest of the world’s oceans: we’ve become too good at fishing,” she added. “Technology is so advanced now that fishers can track down the very last fish. One of the best ways to reverse the decline is by placing large tracts of ocean under protection from the ravages of over-fishing.”