11th Hour Racing Makes an Impact at Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in New York City
Sustainability is highlighted by unique partnership of 11th Hour Racing and
Sir Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR Team
What do oysters, renewable energy, foiling catamarans and ocean health have in common? They are all central elements of the innovative sponsorship model between 11th Hour Racing and Land Rover BAR, which features sustainability, instead of product marketing, at its core.
Both organizations are headed to New York City to participate in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, May 6-8, with two clear objectives: harnessing the power of sport to promote positive change to our oceans, and of course to win!
"11th Hour Racing has demonstrated how social, economic and environmental responsibility can be built in - not as afterthoughts - but as key ingredients to a successful sports program," - says Wendy Schmidt, Co-Founder of 11th Hour Racing, President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, and Co-Founder of the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI).
Through a rich portfolio of sponsorships, grantees and ambassadors, 11th Hour Racing supports the transition toward clean water systems and clean energy.
With 11th Hour Racing as its Exclusive Sustainability Partner, Land Rover BAR has many projects underway, such as:
- Building a ‘smart’ team base in Portsmouth, UK, to green standards;
- Studying efficient ways to recycle carbon fiber;
- Implementing a ‘virtual’ chase boat to reduce fuel consumption;
- Building fuel efficient power boats;
- Promoting renewable energy through BT’s 100% Sport campaign and using 100% renewable electricity for the team’s base, including solar panels;
- Saying no to single-use plastics;
- Installing an artificial reef at the team’s base to help restore native oysters.
"My professional career is in a sport that relies on our oceans, and I want to leave a lasting legacy," says - Land Rover BAR Skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, the most decorated Olympic sailor in history. "One of our goals in developing this team was to be the most sustainable sports team in the UK, by driving innovation, inspiring excellence and creating smarter futures."
New Yorkers and visitors will get a chance to learn more about the mission of 11th Hour Racing at the Race Village at North Cove Marina, Brookfield Place. Four grantees of the organization will be part of the America’s Cup Endeavour Program, which promotes STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) through sailing:
- Hudson River Community Sailing, developing leadership and academic success in underserved students through sailing and marine education;
- Rocking The Boat, where young people build wooden boats from scratch, row them to actively participate in environmental projects, sail them in their own local waters, and teach sailing to fellow members of their South Bronx community;
- Rozalia Project, conducting research, educational programs and marine debris clean up missions from S/V American Promise, the world’s first 100% renewably powered sailing research vessel;
- US Sailing’s Reach Initiative, increasing the quality of STEM education and inspiring future environmental stewards through sailing.
11th Hour Racing is the leader in sustainable sailing with three programs: sponsorships, grants, and ambassadors. 11th Hour Racing also is a member of the Green Sports Alliance, which leverages the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities.
11th Hour Racing Co-Founder, Wendy Schmidt, is deeply involved in the field of ocean science: in addition to her position as the President of The Schmidt Family Foundation, she co-founded the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) in 2009 with her husband, Eric Schmidt. SOI is a mobile ocean research institute, which operates the Research Vessel Falkor. Wendy also was the sponsor of two XPRIZE competitions - Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup CHALLENGE, established in 2010 in the wake of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, was awarded in 2011; the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE, awarded in 2015, was established to improve our understanding of ocean acidification, a harbinger of climate change.