The winning sustainable racing team that inspired the world

1 min read

11th Hour Racing team’s mission is to run a high-performance ocean racing team with sustainability at the core of all operations. The team’s purpose is to inspire positive action among global sports fans to create long-lasting change for ocean health. In 2023, they became the first US team to win The Ocean Race in its 50-year history AND with sustainability running through their veins. As Skipper Charlie Enright proudly stated, the team was ‘given the chance to prove that it was possible to not only build a credible campaign, but in fact a winning one, and win not in spite of the changes we made but because of them.’

Catching up with Sustainability Officer, Amy Munro, I was flabbergasted by the impact they’ve been able to make beyond ‘just’ winning the race:

Opening up the hood for cleaner racing

Their build DNA was made fully accessible to spread the positive approach within racing, sharing their cradle to gate picture of their footprint across carbon, electricity and toxicity, which has led to proposals for a footprint cap being applied to all boats in their class, nearing ratification.

A toolbox for global sports to utilise

Free and non-branded, The Toolbox is an open source suite of guides, tools and templates available in four languages that have been embraced by organisations including the Association of National Olympic Committees, to develop their own sustainability strategies.

Legacy impact in countries visited

A legacy project distributed over €500k to 11 grassroots organisations in countries that were visited as part of The Ocean Race. The projects promote ocean health, clean water initiatives and marine science, providing a legacy of support for the communities in those countries.

Inspiration to go the extra mile

The desire to showcase that approaching the race with sustainability running through its DNA was not only the right thing to do but the way to win, the inclusion of an onboard science programme testing salinity, microplastics and weather patterns, and the incredible legacy through the open source sharing of best practice, there’s no doubt whatsoever that the 11th Hour Racing Team have been an inspiration to the world in how to grapple with sustainability and go the extra mile.

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