World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award 2020
Finalist: MarkSetBot (USA)
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A simple concept which aims to solve various environmental issues associated with competitive sailing, the MarkSetBot is offering an alternative option to the traditional mark-setting methods.

The world’s first robotic sailboat racing mark, it is an innovation which not only makes the task of laying out a racecourse quicker and easier, but is also far less intrusive to the environment.

MatkSetBot is fully electric and can run an entire day on a single charge, reducing the need for fossil fuel-burning power boats that are typically required to set a racecourse. As a result, the number of volunteers required to deliver an event is reduced, and seabed destructive anchors are eliminated.

Used by over 100 clubs around the world already, MarkSetBot has also partnered with organisations which focus on developing sustainable events, such as SailGP, and Yacht Club de Monaco’s Solar and Energy Challenge.

An environmental impact study conducted by Earth to Ocean assessed the impact in carbon savings, seabed damage avoided, hours of potential pollution risk avoided, number of people benefiting from improved racing and number of days of improved sailing when the MarkSetBot was used.

In all proposed scenarios, substantial improvements were recognised, and Earth to Ocean concluded, “MarkSetBot provides a non-invasive, low carbon solution to mark laying and should be considered as part of the environmental improvements to be taken on a racecourse.”

And the ultimate goal for MarkSetBot? Developing a fully autonomous racecourse with no environmental impact. Automatic OCS detection, self-adjusting courses and finish time reporting are just a few aspects of this vision, as MarkSetBot work towards simplifying and automating the racecourse and encouraging sailing clubs around the world to reduce their environmental impact.

MarkSetBot is a finalist for this year’s World Sailing 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award. The Award celebrates the effective execution or ongoing delivery of high-impact, highly-replicable sustainability initiatives, aligned to World Sailing’s Sustainability Agenda 2030. A prize of $10,000 USD is up for grabs to assist the winner in funding future sustainability initiatives.

For the first time in the Award’s history, the public will be invited to vote for their favourite initiative. Click here to vote for MarkSetBot. Voting closes 4 December.

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