A new partnership between the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club and Bermuda-based specialty insurance and reinsurance company Aspen is leading to a stronger commitment to sustainability efforts by the club founded in 1844.
Bermuda is an idyllic, 21-square-mile oasis in the vast 16-million-square-mile North Atlantic Ocean. It is the only land mass located within the Sargasso Sea, a region of the North Atlantic that is bounded by four ocean currents and is a critical foothold in the battle against ocean pollution. Sustainability efforts on the island have consequences for ecosystems around the world.
This year’s Bermuda Gold Cup, the penultimate stage of the 2023 World Match Racing Tour, Oct. 2-7, aims to help those efforts. The partnership with Aspen, a regatta sponsor, is aimed at creating a baseline to build upon for future regattas. The drive to reduce the impact footprint of such an event, with the large amount of travel to the island from all reaches of the globe, is a long-term effort that is being embraced by many of the regatta’s sponsors.
Another partnership, with Bermuda-based charity Waterstart, aims to model sustainable practices and environmental awareness through experiential education. Some of the sailors in the regatta visited Burt Island in Great Sound today to help clean the island and eliminate invasive plant species.
The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club is also working with Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB), a leader in community improvement and collaboration working to enhance Bermuda’s neighbourhoods and quality of life.

The Bermuda Gold Cup is committed to the Sailors for the Sea clean regatta program. An important part of that effort is the use of MarkSetBots, the popular robotic buoys that eliminate the need for mark set boats and their accompanying exhaust pollution and also reduce the impact on the biodiversity of seafloors as they eliminate the need for anchors.
The regatta is eliminating single-use plastics and straws, and paper wherever possible. There is a water filling station at the top of the gangway to the dock where the boats are berthed, alongside recycle and compost bins.
“The Green Committee at the Club is very cognizant of the fact that we are ambassadors of the ocean,” said Jon Corless, the chair of the Bermuda Gold Cup and a Past Commodore of Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. “There’s a new public campaign on the island to eliminate single-use plastics and we stand wholeheartedly alongside all of those efforts.”

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