View Full Version : Deep Discussion: Bill McKay Writes! “Sustainability”

Ron Hill
12-04-2017, 08:22 PM
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</dd></dl>I sent this out to a couple of "movers and shakers" up here....have heard nothing back....Just thought I'd share with you.

I have a proposal/thought for you and others to think about.
This proposal comes with a lofty goal, that being having all racing event expenses paid for, including paychecks for the drivers and teams….sounds impossible???? Well perhaps not.
First we begin by not allowing ICB or WCB into the conversation….What the hell is ICB/WCB? In my years of training, coaching, mentoring, etc. I tell the participant first off, if I hear “I Can’t Because” or “We Can’t Because” at the start of any sentence, we’re done right then and there. Get those thoughts totally out of the conversation. All a problem is, is an opportunity to get around, over or through it by using resources.

The next thing to talk about is the term “Sustainability”
What is Sustainability????
Sustainability by definition---avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.
Sustainability is a buzzword right now, and rightly so. We on this planet are using up resources at a rate never before experienced.

Now for a second I would like to bend your thoughts back to boat racing while thinking about sustainability….this has nothing to do with sustaining boat racing, but rather using boat racing as a teaching tool about practicing sustainability…..What the hell is he talking about?????
Put your thoughts on the Cal-Ore River Racers for a second. Here we have one of natures most beautiful natural resources, the Rogue River, being used for what----boat racing.
The reason I focus on Cal-Ore is, it is the most graphic example of what boat racing represents in terms of sustainability and the beautiful Rogue represents a very precious and natural resource. Ten seconds after that river racer zooms past a point, no one will ever be able to tell he/she was ever there. There are no tracks, no divots, no concrete infrastructure, nothing….the river goes back to what nature intended it to do in it's natural state.

At this point, I challenge you, or anyone to think of any other sport or activity with similar results. Swimming and air races are about the only two I can think of. Almost everything else either requires some type of man-made venue, or leaves some type of footprint on the planet. Even this year the California International Marathon has hired a sustainability manager whose job is to reduce the footprint the event leaves along it’s course. Nothing against runners or bicyclists, but how many would be involved if there were no man-made roads or sidewalks?

Back to sustainability….while Cal-Ore is could be considered an extreme graphic, the same principal applies wherever boat racing takes place. We use a natural, or man made renewable resource, throw out a few buoys, put on our show, then pack up and leave town with the resource in exactly the same condition as we found it….and, perhaps the biggest selling point is that resource is not a single use facility, it’s there for everyone else to use as allowed.

In my mind, this is the biggest selling point boat racing has to offer….Teaching the planet how to use a resource without depleting or changing it.

Now on to the money part…..while I am very familiar with how this works, I am in no way offering my services at this point….Have my hands full as a caregiver for my wife….But here is the Goal money wise. With sustainability as the buzzword, and NCOA/EBBC/APBA reorganized with sustainability as their mantra….begin hitting up the grant world for funds
I truly believe that there is out there in the grant world, companies, foundations, philanthropy, individuals, resources, etc. that can be tapped for sustainability teaching funds.

Where does it all begin? First and foremost, and I’m very familiar with this, NOCA/EBBC/APBA has to undertake a major change in terms of how they identify themselves. I’m sure you’re familiar with business plans, core values, identity, branding, mission statement, etc. All of that good stuff needs to be re-engineered towards reflecting and teaching sustainability. The very first things grantors look at are those values.

Is it worth the effort? Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into a meeting with an agency to talk about using a body of water and being thought of as the worlds most eco-sustainable sporting event? We all know the sayings about doing business as usual and expecting different results.

A change like this of course will not happen overnight. It will require a whole lot of work, but I think in the long run it will be worth it. If boat racing chooses to identify with a mission to teach sustainability, it should begin right now by studying what image it reflects and presents.