Portsmouth racing team Land Rover BAR has been honoured for its contribution to the health and wellbeing or the oceans.
Founded by four-time Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie, it topped the list of winners for the Boat International Media Ocean Awards 2017.
BAR won the prestigious Seafarers’ Award, which is given to the group that has made the biggest difference to marine conservation.
Dr Susie Tomson, sustainability manager at Land Rover BAR, said the award was the culmination of years of hard work.
She said: ‘We are delighted to receive the Boat International Seafarers’ Award recognising Land Rover BAR’s sustainability strategy, achievements and progress over the past three years. We set ourselves the goal of being the most sustainable sports team on the planet and with the support of our partners 11th Hour Racing this award shows just how far we have come.’
The team picked up the award because of the its sustainability strategy, including the project to bring back native oysters to southern British waters and the use of virtual chase boat, which uses technology in a sustainable manner.
Our oceans are resilient, but only if we take collective steps towards protecting and rebuilding them.Adrian Grenier, actor and founder of the Lonely Whale Foundation
BAR’s ‘passion to improve ocean quality in and around the Solent region’ was praised by the judges, Sir Charles Dunstone chairman of the TalkTalk Group, Ben Goldsmith, CEO of Menhaden Capital, Charlie Birkett, co-founder and CEO of Y.CO, and Charles Clover, executive director of Blue Marine Foundation, who partnered the awards.
Mr Clover said: ‘Our inspirational nominees and winners are driving awareness and implementing the change that can save our oceans; they should all be immensely proud.’
Model and environmentalist Helena Christensen said: ‘I have huge respect and admiration for the sea, but ocean life depends on a thriving coral reef and we are destroying it.’