World Sailing's sustainability award shortlist has been whittled down to four ©Getty Images

World Sailing has announced its finalists for the 2022 11th Hour Racing Sustainability Award, with four initiatives shortlisted for their proactive ideas within the sailing and marine industry.

This award is in line with the principles of World Sailing's Sustainability Agenda 2030 and is open for the public to vote on now.

A winner is to be announced on October 25.

World Sailing's head of sustainability, Alexandra Rickham, chaired the judging panel to find the shortlisted projects, with two-time Olympic champion Hannah Mills, and two-time America's Cup winner and seven-time world champion Peter Burling also deciding who were the successful candidates.

Also on the panel were polar explorer Lungi Mchunu, marine photographer Cristina Mittermeier, Foiling SuMoth Challenge founder Bruno Giuntoli and 11th Hour Racing - the award sponsor - managing director, Todd McGuire.

Rickham said she was inspired by the high quality of the shortlist.

"The quality and variety of submissions impressed the judging panel, and selection of just four was an incredibly difficult decision," said Rickham.

"We have chosen standout projects covering a diverse range of activities throughout sailing, including recycling programmes, educational initiatives, and sustainable solutions for issues facing the entire sport, which have huge potential to make sailing more inclusive and more responsible.

"We now look forward to opening up the voting to the public and sharing these four wonderful projects with a wider audience. 

"The aim of this award is to raise awareness of the excellent sustainability projects happening all over the world, and inspiring others to make a difference to their event, club or community. 

"I'd like to encourage everyone to take part and vote as we all strive to contribute to sailing's involvement in global sustainability."

These four shortlisted initiatives are the Flipflopi Project, Fundacion Ecomar, EurILCA Sustainability Program and Greenboats.

The Flipflopi Project is based in Kenya and follows a circular economy movement which made the first sailing dhow from 100 per cent plastic waste.

Its long-term ambitions would see better sustainability in lake-dwelling communities - such as areas around Lake Victoria - being recyclable to eliminate plastic pollution.

Fundacion Ecomar, founded by two-time Olympic champion Theresa Zabell, focuses on sustainability education in Spain and Portugal, with approximately 15,000 sailors learning how to reduce waste through this programme.

EurILCA, the European branch of the International Laser Class Association, has been recognised for reducing waste at all of its 10 European Championships since 2020, with their sustainability programme avoiding the use of thousands of plastic stickers and single-use items, while raising awareness through social media.

Finally, Greenboats has been recognised for pioneering boat designs from alternative materials to improve sustainability.

The winner of the award will receive $10,000 (£9,000/€10,200) from World Sailing as well as a trophy made from recycled carbon fibre.