Back in August, the nominations for the Queensland Sailing Awards were announced. Cryptically, when it came to the Sustainability Award, the official press said that the award was “To be Announced on the Night.”
‘To be announced on the night’ is code for ‘there is only one nomination’.
The winners of the Queensland Sailing Sustainability Award for 2023 were Ocean Crusaders J-Bird Racing, but it wasn’t a close competition. In fact there was no competition at all.
Now, Ocean Crusaders J-Bird Ocean Racing has been nominated for the Australian Sailing Sustainability Award.
It’s great to be recognised for our efforts, but it’s a shame that in the whole of Australian Sailing there are only three projects up for consideration. We’d love to see a lot more competition for this award and a greater commitment to the cause from the leadership of the sport.Ian Thomson, Ocean Crusaders J-Bird Ocean Racing
The J-Bird Ocean Racing Project.
Ian and Annika Thomson, are a dynamic duo of sustainability on the Australian sailing scene. With an unwavering commitment to eco-friendly innovation, they’ve set a course for a greener, more sustainable future.
Their groundbreaking journey began by electrifying the high seas. In a bold move that caught the attention of sailing enthusiasts worldwide, the Thomsons demonstrated that racing yachts can harness clean, electric power through innovative propulsion systems. No more reliance on fossil fuels.
But they didn’t stop there. The Thomsons’ dedication to environmental stewardship extends beyond the electric revolution. They’ve taken up the mantle of recycling and rescue, saving racing boat hulls from the fate of landfills.
There is a fine line between sports-washing and greenwashing for some sailing competitions that use slogans like ‘powered by the wind,’ to mask other activity, like the continued reliance on single-use plastic. Disruptors like the Ocean Crusaders Offshore Racing Team are asking the question – ‘why does it have to be that way?’ and pushing for change by entering an electrically powered, non-fossil fuel vessel into Australia’s premier offshore races: the iconic Sydney to Hobart and the legendary Brisbane to Gladstone.
And they got results. And they accomplished these victories on a boat that was bound for the scrap heap. With their own hands, they salvaged and meticulously rebuilt the vessel over a painstaking three-year period. Their dedication to sustainability knows no bounds, setting a shining example for future competitions.
The rules of offshore sailing are actually being rewritten. rewriting the rules of sailing; they’re revolutionizing the very essence of the sport in line with their commitment to protecting the marine environment.
Ocean Crusaders J-Bird Ocean Racing will be back for the 2023 Sydney to Hobart Race. If you want to be part of the story, let’s have a chat.