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Sailors will try to keep the sea as clean as the sky above Cape Panwa Hotel

Phuket's Cape Panwa Regatta Aims to Sail Green and Clean

Monday, May 19, 2014
PHUKET: Asia's award-winning regatta, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, takes the lead in environmental stewardship by officially becoming a Clean Regatta as approved by Sailors for the Sea, the first of its kind in South East Asia.

Held from July 16-20 off Panwa Cape, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek showcases Phuket's iconic natural surrounds, the health of which are inherently linked to the success and long-term sustainability of Phuket's marine leisure tourism industry.

As the seas get busier - according to the World Shipping Council, the top 20 importers and exporters of containerised cargo in 2009 and 2010 included 10 countries from Asia with Thailand ranked sixth for exports and 14th for imports - garbage in the sea and damage to marine ecosystems continues, something the organisers of Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek are addressing.

''Sailing is considered to be a clean and green sport, and on the whole it is. As residents of Phuket and organisers of an annual sailing event here, the team at Phuket Raceweek are aware of the importance of the sea to Phuket's tourism and sailing industries, and we aim to ensure the marine environment is left in a better state for future generations,'' said Byron Jones, Managing Director of organisers Media Business Services (MBS).

The Clean Regattas program is a global certification system that encourages regatta organisers and yacht clubs to manage and run environmentally responsible events. Its main initiative is to reduce marine debris and preserve coastal land and waters. With regattas in more than 13 countries being certified, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is the first in South East Asia.

''The Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is committed to serving as a model for responsible sailing,'' said Tyson Bottenus, program coordinator, Sailors for the Sea. ''We are thrilled to support their efforts to educate participants on environmental protection. Working with the event, Sailors for the Sea will help to formalise their conservation efforts and help promote responsible environmental behaviours among organisers and regatta participants.''

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) also recognise the importance of environmentally-conscious tourism having identified ecotourism as one of its niche markets in a strategy to grow niche tourism and not solely rely on 'tourism by numbers'.

In line with the TAT's Seven Greens program which provides a conceptual framework and establishes practical guidelines for carefully balancing tourism promotion and a healthy, sustainable environment, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek are leading the way in South East Asia and introducing the following Clean Regattas Best Practices at the 2014 regatta:

.. Water Only Wash Downs (Greywater Reduction): Participants will be asked to use ''water only'' when washing down their boats during the course of the regatta. This reduces run-off of phosphates and nitrates commonly found in cleaning products.

.. Oil Spill Prevention: Motorized vessels shall carry and use at least ONE bilge sponge and ONE fueling spill pad.

.. Trash Free Regatta: Overboard discharge of trash and littering at shore facilities will be prevented and strongly discouraged.

..Recycling: The event will provide recycling services at shore facilities for participants to deposit separated recyclable materials such as bottles, cans, paper etc.

.. Water Bottle Reduction: The event will provide water stations and/or reusable water bottles to participants to reduce single-use disposable water bottles.

.. Promote the Use of Non-Toxic Cleaning Products: Organisers will include and implement a list of environmentally-friendly cleaning products that can be used throughout the event.

''This is just the first step and we are excited to lead the way in South East Asia and introduce the Clean Regattas program to our event,'' commented Mr Jones. ''We are keen to help preserve the coastal area of Phuket and with our certification to the Clean Regattas program this is now part of the event's DNA. Working together with the event's participants we will ensure the program's success.''

Voted 'Asian Regatta of the Year' at the 2011 Asia Boating Awards, Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek continues to deliver excellence and with the Clean Regattas program certification continues its tradition of innovation and leadership.

The 2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek is set to welcome boats and crew from around the world for four days of world-class yacht racing off Phuket's southeast coast from July 16-20.

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