Jason Leonard OBE, former England Rugby prop is joining thought leaders on sustainability including Gardiner & Theobald, and South Bank University to compete in the Think Regatta, one of the events taking place as part of Think 08. Participants will set sail from the Royal Victoria Dock, which is adjacent to the conference centre, ExCel, on 7th and 8th May. The regatta aims to introduce an element of light relief to Think, which focuses on the important subject of sustainability in the built environment, and is in keeping with the conference’s green credentials.

The competition will consist of five races over two days with the grand final pitting the heat winners against each other in a final showdown. All winners will receive a trophy and contribution to a charity of their choice, while the overall victor will take home the inaugural Regatta trophy and a significant donation to their chosen charity.

Jason Leonard commented "The Think Regatta promotes a healthy, environmentally friendly pastime that shows you don't need exhaust emissions to get an adrenaline rush.

It sends a clear message to professionals working in the built environment that sustainability is compatible with competitiveness. This is one of the key topics that will be examined at the Think conference and exhibition.

"It's a great idea to give conference scholarships scholarships for Think to students like those of London's South Bank University (sponsors of the regatta). Getting young people interested in sustainability in the built environment is important if we are going to fill the sustainability skills gap in the industry.

"The Think Regatta is a healthy competition and loads of fun. Anyone who shares those values in the property and construction industries should get involved."

Patrick Gulley of Gardiner & Theobald says: “The Think Regatta is an ingenious way of highlighting the benefits of sustainable transport and renewable energy, while having an enormous amount of fun. The event really gets across the message of sustainability that underpins the entire conference. We hope that as many exhibitors as possible will enter – it should be nice and competitive, and raise funds for charity.”

Entry costs £1,400, which includes all snacks and refreshments for the crew and a RIB for transfers and safety. Each Benetau Class 8 keelboat will be made up of five people plus an experienced skipper.

Think will be working with H2sn0w, specialists in events on the water and snow, to bring the Think Regatta to life.

The Think 08 exhibition and conference will run over 7 and 8 May 2008 at ExCeL. Following the success of 2007’s inaugural event, Think 08 will explore the economic, social and environmental challenges in delivering sustainable development, and look at the wider responsibilities of the property and construction industry in dealing with the issues of climate change, urban renewal and redevelopment.