Swiss SailGP Team were holding trials of the team’s new ‘washing station system’ in Mies, Switzerland, this week, a concept the team has developed to help SailGP Teams to manage their water use more responsibly, when washing the F50s down after racing.

Growing up in Switzerland, surrounded by mountain glaciers, lakes and oceans, ensuring safe and clean waters is a key priority for the team, and the station project has been in development for the past six months. The current F50 wash down is a basic process, a simple hose down of the F50 with no control on the run off, which is a massive issue. The station would act as a water-saving technique as well as pollution control.

Season 4 // Switzerland SailGP Team // Operation Washing Station 1

The station’s simple design collects dirty water from the boat cleaning via a capture mat - and instead of allowing it to flow back into the sea or lake - it is then pumped into a tank to be treated via a filtration system. Once filtered, the same water is available straight away to be reused across the fleet’s post-racing wash down operations.

Jocelyn Keller, Switzerland SailGP Team said: “After months of developing our idea, it was great to finally test out the new washing station system this week. In one season we use approx. 55,000 litres* of potable water to wash our F50 race boats. It’s currently released, untreated, into groundwater or the sea. We hope by introducing the station across SailGP’s operations, we can reduce water consumption from the boat cleaning process by up to 60% and release zero pollutants into the marine environment.”

A Sustainability Consultant from Nekton who has been supporting the team with the concept said: “It’s really important for all teams to understand the local environmental pressures in the locations they are racing, and to ensure they aren’t compounding those impacts.

Season 4 // Switzerland SailGP Team // Operation Washing Station 2

“According to the UN Global Compact, in terms of availability, global freshwater could reach a 40% deficit by 2030, 80% of wastewater is discharged without treatment, and 1 in 4 people lack infrastructure to access water. Water stress is increasing in all parts of the world and pollution remains a major source of pressure on waters. The goal is to eliminate contamination to biodiversity and conserve freshwater resources, with simple, scalable solutions like the Swiss have with their water station project.”

4Season 4 // Switzerland SailGP Team // Operation Washing Station 3

Following the successful trials, we hope to see the Water Station rolled out across SailGP operations later this year.

*Based on collection data during a SailGP event.

*The trials took place using TF35 boats, not F50s.