Japan’s rapid progression in the SailGP Impact League is delighting team CEO and Driver Nathan Outteridge, who lauded the impact A Plastic Planet have had upon their purpose.
The Impact League, launched at the start of Season 2, tracks the positive actions our teams make to reduce their overall carbon footprint and help accelerate inclusivity in sailing.
A second leaderboard, which runs alongside the Season Championship, monitors the performance of our teams in the Impact League, to ensure they are racing not only on the water, but also for a better planet.
Japan struggled with the Impact League at the start of the campaign, claiming the event’s lowest score of 26 points at the Bermuda Sail Grand Prix presented by Hamilton Princess, but a rapid improvement saw them rank fourth at the Great BritainSGP just two events later.
Another fourth place finish in Saint-Tropez last time out means the Japanese currently sit seventh in the overall Impact League leaderboard, and their trajectory is only going one way – up.
“I think the Impact League is really important because we are not only racing on the water, we are racing for change,” said Outteridge at the press conference for the Spain Sail Grand Prix, which takes place in Cadiz this weekend.
“When the Impact League was created at the beginning of the season, I think our team was one of the ones who struggled the most to understand the criteria and how the points were scored, so we didn’t get many points at all in Bermuda.”
Accepting their lack of understanding was critical to Japan’s improvement, as they quickly partnered with A Plastic Planet who have played a key role in developing the team’s purpose as the season has progressed.
Outteridge continued: “The first thing we did was partner with an organization called A Plastic Planet, and they have really helped us with our purpose within the Impact League. They have really helped with the auditing process and educating the team on how to improve. So what started with 26 points out of 200 at the first event, is now regularly over 150 points.
“Just the fact alone that we have managed to learn is amazing, and we are seeing real results with that. And we are not just seeing results on the scorecard, we are seeing results at our base and with the way we are operating as a team.
“There is new criteria at this event - the criteria has changed quite a lot from the first few events - and a lot of that criteria has changed based on feedback from the teams.
“So I think it is really important we keep climbing the ladder here, as we were fourth at the last event. The Kiwis are doing a really good job at the front, and we are just trying to learn from the other teams so we can hold our own in this league.”