MILAN — Sailmaking specialist North Sails is supporting the 10th edition of Italy’s 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar regatta and has pushed the offshore competition to become completely plastic-free.
“It’s a partnership we care a lot about, because the 151 Miglia is one of the most important regattas in the Mediterranean Sea and also it allows us to stress our commitment to the sea and the oceans,” explained Elisa Riva, marketing director of North Sails, while unveiling the sponsorship at the company’s showroom here on Thursday evening. “Starting from its 10th edition the regatta becomes plastic-free.”
The sailing competition — which will take place on May 30 through the coasts of Livorno, Marina di Pisa, Punta Ala, Giraglia, Elba Island and Formiche di Grosseto, in the Tuscany region — has pledged to avoid the use of disposable plastics in all its catering services and replacing it with glass and compostable materials.
“We never set up sponsorships but rather partnerships based on shared values,” explained Roberto Lacorte, founder of the regatta and chief executive officer of pharmaceutical company PharmaNutra, the main sponsor of the event. “We strongly identify with North Sails for the way they embody and represent the sailing world.”
In keeping with its commitments to raise awareness about the preservation of the marine environment, the 151 Miglia-Tropfeo Cetilar regatta also enables North Sails to organize a series of workshops dedicated to yachtsmen and children on the plastic pollution issue, in partnership with the brand’s ambassador and marine biologist Mariasole Bianco and her Worldrise foundation.
The topic is also at the center of a rulebook issued by North Sails, which highlights the 10 best practices each responsible sailor should embrace: avoid disposable plastic; check the area before dropping the anchor; avoid spilling while refueling, and pick biodegradable sun screens, among others.
“North Sails has decided to promote the conservation of the sea as one of its brand identity’s pillars,” Bianco explained. “Particularly the issue with plastics is linked to its disposable use, being a material which requires 100 to 1,000 years to decompose.”
Marking the sponsorship, North Sails has also created a capsule collection of technical pieces to outfit the regatta’s competitors, which are already available for purchase on the brand’s online store. A pop-up shop the label plans to open at the seaside resorts of departure and arrival during the sailing competition will carry the capsule, which includes a nylon bomber jacket with durable water-resistant treatment; a duffel bag; a polo shirt crafted from high-performance Tactel fabric; nylon shorts, and sneakers with high-tech grip performance on wet surfaces.
The sailmaking specialist has been actively involved in a number of initiatives connected to the preservation of the sea and the oceans. For its spring 2019 ad campaign, the company released a video showing the impact of pollution on the lives of people in those countries where garbage is being channeled, such as India. Through the claim “it’s your choice. Reduce, reuse and recycle,” North Sails aimed to take a stance.
Marking its 60th anniversary in 2018, the brand has also partnered with U.K.-based nonprofit Ocean Family Foundation, to which it donated 1 percent of sales of North Sails products.
The 151 Miglia-Trofeo Cetilar regatta is organized annually by a committee including the Pisa Maritime Republic Yacht Club, Punta Ala Yacht Club and Livorno Yacht Club, all based in Italy’s Tuscany region.