SailGP Team Australia partners with purpose-led Parley For the Oceans

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Parley For the Oceans, an environmental organisation raising awareness of the beauty and fragility of the oceans, has received a boost as the chosen purpose-led partner of the Australia SailGP Team. 

SailGP is a series of yacht races featuring national teams competing in a series of races around the world. During short, intense races, the teams will be highlighting a better future, championing a world powered by nature (as the yachts themselves are), working up to a grand final with a US$1 million prize. The racing yachts are identical, hydro foiling F50 catamarans that reach speeds of almost 100kph on the water. 

Each competing team has to select a purpose beyond sailing with a shared vision. For the Australia SailGP Team, led by Tom Slingsby, Parley matched the sailors’ genuine desire to create a greener future, with their love of the water driving their efforts to preserve the ocean for generations to come. 

Parley aims to take action against major marine threats, and explore new ways of thinking and living on finite Planet Earth. The organisation has brought together a global network of creators, thinkers, and leaders from the creative industries, brands, governments, and environmental groups to raise awareness of the ocean’s fragility and has already welcomed into its ranks major partners including Adidas, Anheuser Busch InBev (Corona beer), American Express, the Republic of the Maldives, the UN, the World Bank and collaborators spanning the worlds of science, art, fashion, design, entertainment, sports, journalism, space and ocean exploration. 

Parley highlights that millions of sharks die so their fins can end up on prestigious restaurant tables in soup, whale sanctuaries get looted for exclusive dog food and more fish are eaten by house cats than by seals. Meanwhile, hundreds of miles of drift nets vacuum clean the sea. 

Meanwhile, scientists believe that 90 per cent of big fish have vanished from the oceans since 1950 and by 2050, 90 per cent of the world’s coral reefs will be gone. 

“The next 10 years are the most pivotal for our future,” the organisation explains on its website. “Diminishment of biodiversity in our ocean is the single greatest threat to the survival of humanity. With diminishment of species in the oceans comes diminishment of the quality of life for humanity.”

SailGP Team Australia partners with purpose-led Parley For the Oceans
Australia SailGP Team helmed by Tom Slingsby practicing on the water at Plymouth, Great Britain. Photo: Thomas Lovelock for SailGP.

Parley aims to raise awareness of – and work on solutions to – problems including humankind’s disconnect from nature and overconsumption of resources, which it believes are the primary threats, bringing with them chemical, oil, noise and plastic pollution, global warming, ocean acidification, overfishing, and agricultural run-off.

“The threats are many, but so are the solutions.”

Slingsby says the Australia SailGP team is passionate about leaving a positive impact that extends beyond sailing to protecting the Australian way of life. 

“With the ocean integral to our sport, we have a responsibility to give back to the surroundings that make our sport possible.” 

Under the partnership, the two organisations will host Parley Talks across the globe at several SailGP events, including the Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney in December. The talks will take an immersive approach to environmental education, to inspire marine conservation with the next generation of leaders. The first Parley Talk took place last week at Plymouth ahead of the weekend’s Great Britain Grand Prix.  

“We have an opportunity to use our platform to not only educate and inspire a generation of environmental advocates, but also to work with an incredible world-renowned partner in Parley that can help put our vision of a greener future into action”. 

Parley will also collaborate with the Australia Team on its Impact League – a world-first, integrated initiative designed to make sustainability action essential to the fabric of sport and to accelerate the transition to clean energy, in order to help mitigate climate change. 

Through SailGP’s second season – which ends in the US next March – a second leaderboard will show how the eight participating teams have succeeded in reducing their overall carbon footprint and accelerating inclusivity in sailing. 

Parley will support and advise the Australia Team on the Impact League, helping it maximise its efforts and ensure genuine, systematic change.  

Parley founder and CEO Cyrill Gutsch said SailGP has lived up to its promise of taking big, bold steps towards championing a world powered by nature. 

“We’re excited to see what they have in store next following some hefty commitments like their initial goal of winning the race to zero carbon, to powering and shifting from technologies based on fossil fuels to 100-per-cent renewable power by 2025. We see them as not just a supporter of Parley, but a true collaborator and change maker.”

Gutsch said the partnership will help raise awareness of some of the biggest threats facing the world’s oceans to a global audience at the same time as demonstrating the role we can play in being a part of the solution. 

“Sport really does have the power to make a change and through the power of community, education, and activism and with partners such as SailGP Australia, we can turn the oceans’ cause into a truly global movement as it should be.”

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill is a content writer with more than 30 years of experience in five countries. His style has built upon award-winning success in news and features in the print media to leadership in digital communication, spanning news websites, social media, magazines, brochures, and contributing to books. Recognising the devastating impact of consumer behaviour on the planet and wanting to help make a difference Robert launched Viable.Earth as a platform to celebrate positive contributions by brands, companies and individuals towards reducing environmental impact and improve sustainability – especially in the fields of fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, and transportation.

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