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Shouldn’t We Be Calling for a Ban on Bow Stickers at All Sailing Events?

1st August 2018
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Dragons racing at Cork Week Dragons racing at Cork Week Photo: Tim Wright

This was the subject of some discussion aboard our Dragon at the recent Volvo Cork Week. We had a UK Dragon sailor with us who also happens to be the organiser of the British Dragon Association East Coast Championships later this season.

As I asked him to apply our regulation Volvo bow stickers prior to racing he was somewhat reluctant but worked away nonetheless. But as we were sailing to the race course he pointed out that the pre-event notices and overwhelming message from the Cork Week organisers were supportive of the generic message that is “Turn the Tide on Plastic”. This was demonstrated practically by their very obvious “hydration stations” around the Cork Week village where sailors could refill their water containers during the day and especially before going sailing, and also their decision not to print and distribute paper SI’s. This was a clear and laudable message for which they should be applauded.

"This was a clear and laudable message for which Cork Week should be applauded"

Nevertheless, it was clear that many of the plastic bow stickers applied to the yachts that started Cork Week ahead of us (the Dragons only started racing on Thursday) were already lost into Cork Harbour and the surrounding waters. And indeed as it transpired most of those applied to the Dragons were lost in the same way after just day one.

Surely World Sailing or indeed even our own Irish Sailing should now consider a ban on these bow stickers for obvious reasons? There are other more sustainable ways for our very valuable sponsors to get their logo displayed at the event sites. Indeed logos can even be photoshopped onto event photos of the yachts sailing as required for publicity purposes.

I would be interested to hear other views.

Martin Byrne
Jaguar Sailing Team
Dragon IRL 201.

Martin Byrne is a Dragon Edinburgh Cup Winner and former Commodore of the Royal St. George Yacht Club

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