Sports and nature are intrinsically linked. Nature provides the setting for so many sports activities, at all levels. As sports lovers, we share a duty to take care of the environment in return.

It is also imperative to understand how to mitigate and minimise our sports practices’ impacts on the environment.

We rely on nature’s biodiversity to provide clean air and water, healthy food and a stable climate ; these are also essential for athletes and people practising sports. Nature is resilient and can recover from human impacts, given the space, time and sometimes a helping hand, to do so.

Protect, Restore, Learn and Commit are the ways we can achieve this goal.

The Sails of Change founders, Yann Guichard, Dona Bertarelli and her children, are outdoor sports enthusiasts and they share a deep connection with the ocean through their sailing activities. They are passionate about sharing ideas and information, building partnerships to protect and restore the environment, and working to achieve meaningful change for future generations.

Sails of Change’s first campaign supports 30×30, a growing international call by the scientific community to protect 30% of the planet by 2030. This message is carried on the sails of the founders’ sailing stable, Spindrift. Their maxi-trimaran has been renamed “Sails of Change” and will challenge the Jules Verne Trophy around the world sailing record during the winter season 2021 – 2022, taking this message around the world.

Protecting nature is the first step. The impact of destructive activities, pollution and climate change is acutely felt in ocean habitats, driving rapid biodiversity loss. Environments which are still healthy need protection to stay that way, while ecosystems impacted by human activities need to be preserved in order to recover. Marine protected areas and nature reserves which are strongly protected can help restore biodiversity, which in turn, enables natural ecosystems to be more resilient to external pressures and climate change, and continue to provide invaluable services to humanity.

Sails of Change supports the call by scientists and experts to strongly protect at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030. Reaching this #30×30 target would be a big step towards making our planet sustainable, allowing biodiversity to regenerate, and contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Nature has shown its extraordinary capacity to recover when given the chance. Reforestation, habitat enhancement, rewilding and reintroduction of native species are among the ways biodiversity can be restored. Reducing and countering the impact of human activities such as climate change and pollution, and managing resources sustainably are also necessary. Rich ecosystems support human health, livelihoods and food security, protect from natural disasters, reduce biodiversity loss, and are more resilient to climate change, too. Sails of Change highlights the ideas, projects and daily actions which can help make a difference, individually and collectively.

Science, exploration, innovation, technology, facts and data can inform and inspire not only today’s governments and businesses, but tomorrow’s decision-makers, about the value of nature and why the balance between nature and people is vital. By learning about the wonders of nature people and youth will want to preserve nature in turn and be actors of change. With support from Spindrift for Schools, an educational programme for schoolchildren inspired by nature, and from other partners, Sails of Change will share educational resources and help promote environmental awareness.

To ensure the vital balance between nature and people, commitment is needed at every level, from governments, NGOs, businesses, communities, and the wider public. Sails of Change hopes to catalyse change to achieve meaningful protection and restoration of nature, by raising awareness about ideas, projects and actions which can help, and by working with others.

Sails of Change is adding its voice to the growing call for strong protection of at least 30% of land and ocean by 2030. Spindrift, the founders’ professional sailing team, will carry the #30×30 message as the team takes part in sailing events and races around the world.

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