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SailGP Called Out by Greenpeace in New Zealand Over ‘Greenwashing’

7th April 2024
The endangered Upokohue/Hector’s dolphin
The endangered Upokohue/Hector’s dolphin, known for its unique rounded dorsal fin, is resident in Christchurch’s Lyttelton Harbour Credit: James Shook/Wikimedia

SailGP has been called out by Greenpeace’s executive director in New Zealand/Aotearoa over its response to a race cancellation prompted by the presence of dolphins on the racecourse.

Racing was postponed on Saturday 23 March at the second annual New Zealand Sail Grand Prix in Christchurch, leading to a so-called ‘Super Sunday’ where Australia’s SailGP team suffered a massive collision that forced their retirement.

Following the event, SailGP co-founder Sir Russell Coutts had harsh words for what he described as an “extreme marine mammal management plan forced upon us”.

But Greenpeace’s chief in New Zealand wasn’t having any of that.

In an opinion piece for the NZ Herald, Dr Russel Norman characterised Sir Russell’s comments as “a Trumpian outburst”, emphasising that SailGP was fully aware of the Lyttelton Harbour venue’s status as a protected area for endangered Upokohue/Hector’s dolphins.

“So much for all the greenwash that SailGP cares about the environment,” Dr Norman says.

The NZ Herald has more HERE.

Published in SailGP, Marine Wildlife Team

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About SailGP

SailGP unites world-class athletic talent and cutting-edge technology. Eight teams representing Australia, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States will contest eight events held in as many countries over an 11-month period. Following the season opener in Bermuda, the championship visits renowned sailing locations in Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Spain and New Zealand. San Francisco, United States, has the honour of closing proceedings with the Grand Final on 26–27 March 2022. Among those vying for the crown is the Great Britain team led by Rolex Testimonee and four-time Rolex World Sailor of the Year, Sir Ben Ainslie, who says: “The sailing world was crying out for the creation of such a concept. SailGP is a major milestone in the evolution of yachting, but it also represents continuity. The combination of state-of-the-art technology and sporting prowess is widening the appeal of sailing.