Just one year ago, Capt. Guy Morrall and his crew on M/Y Talitha embarked on their self-createdWhatNot2Waste campaign, pledging to complete one million burpees by the end of2016 to bring attention to reducing waste on board. A year later, they canproudly say they reached their goal, achieving 1,120,907 burpees from allparticipating teams, with just over a million from all yachtie teams and 540,947from the M/Y Talitha crew alone.
Admittedly, it was a close call — as of November, they werestill more than 200,000 burpees short, which Morrall says called for a majorrecruitment drive and request to pull out all the stops to get the job done. Butwhile the numerical goal was reached, has the overall message really beenheard?
“Certainly on Talitha,I’ve seen a substantial change in attitude, and I sincerely hope that not onlywill this continue, but those crew [who] have been part of the challenge willtake what they’ve learned through their career in the industry,” says Morrall.
“For us, it was a great way to bring our crew together fornot only some healthy activity and competition, but also for the environment,”says Relief Capt. Scott Macahonic of M/Y Spirit,whose crew participated in the challenge in September. “Spirit was able to take a more environmentally friendly approach tosome tasks on board and were happy to clean up more than a few beaches thissummer throughout Croatia.”
It’s a sign that the campaign had extensive outreach whenmore than just crew get involved. MB92 in Spain jumped on the burpee train totake a step forward in its commitment to the environment by improving itsrecycling systems.
“With the aim of offering a better waste separation processin our shipyard, we have made four new Green Point areas exclusively availableto our clients where crews are able to carry out a complete recycling processfrom beginning to end with all waste generated from life on board, includingorganic waste,” says MB92 shipyard manager Miguel Àngel Lliteras.
But bringing this widespread influence to the yachtingcommunity certainly was no easy feat. Morrall shares that the most difficultpart of the challenge wasn’t physical — instead, it was the fear of failure andthe motivation to keep going.
“It’s one [thing] voting to embark on a year-long challenge,but it’s another trying to find the enthusiasm for what lies ahead after justthree months with nine to go when there appears to be little support from thosearound you and the differences you’re trying to make aren’t happening,” hesays.
In the end, support showed through in the form of 27 teams. AsMacahonic puts it, “If it’s a challenge put forth by M/Y Talitha, you know it’s going to be a good one. A hugecongratulations goes out to the crew of Talitha,who have some serious determination and drive!”
So what’s next for this challenge-driven crew? Apparently,the WhatNot2Waste campaign isn’t going anywhere; instead, it’s now taking on anew activity. To replace one year of burpees, M/Y Talitha is now set on a one-month ergometer challenge in which teamsof two, four, or six are competing against each other, ideally between yachts.A team of two must complete 500 kilometers in 30 days setting times for two,five, and 10 kilometers, explains Morrall.
“Waste is a broad subject and there’s generally a verypositive attitude to what’s going on out there, but converting this to actualchanges takes time and of course funding,” he adds. “Captains and managersmustn’t be frightened to ask questions. Don’t just accept the way it is, not ifyou know it can be done better.”