The Volvo Ocean Race, Cardiff and sailing in Wales
[Image by Mapfire]
The 45,000 nautical mile Volvo Ocean Race stopped in Wales for the first time, one of the biggest and most challenging maritime races.
Cardiff was the 10th stop of the around the world race, which began on the 22nd October, with only two more stops to go. Competitors too, are from all over the globe and there is a Welshman included, Bleddyn Môn, who is racing for the Turn the Tide on Plastic team. They hope to raise awareness about the damage caused by plastic pollution in the world's seas and oceans and are conducting research.
Cardiff Bay put on a great two week free festival from the 27th May, giving visitors opportunities to get involved with sailing and to enjoy the location and entertainment. There were free water sports activities, a racing experience, circus acts, musical performances and much much more! The in-port race (8th June) was won by the Dongfeng Race Team to close the gap on MAPFIRE, who lead the in-port series. On Sunday the ocean race set off from Cardiff heading to the penultimate stop in Gothenburg, Sweden and with MAPFIRE, the Dongfeng race team, and Team Brunel were all separated by just a few points, before Dongfeng persevered in the last few miles of the final leg to win the title.
It's more good news for sailing fans as the Extreme Sailing Series returns to Cardiff Bay from 24th to the 27th August. It's the UK's only stop and the last destination before the race continues in San Diego, USA. It's fast, action filled and packed with talented sportsmen and sportswomen. Read more on the Visit Wales site:
Why Wales and Why Cardiff?
Wales has a growing reputation for hosting major events and Cardiff, the two time European capital of sport has hosted the 2017 Champions League finals, two heavyweight boxing bouts, international rugby matches and last years extreme sailing event in just 2017/18 alone. Wales is surrounded by the sea on 3 sides and has numerous lakes nestled between it's mountainous landscape. It is therefore no surprise that sailing is an activity that people can enjoy of all ages, whether to enjoy the sport or to explore our coasts and waterways. There is no better time to get involved as Wales celebrates the Year of the Sea 2018.
We also have our own fair share of sailing stars in Wales. Hannah Blore, from Wrexham is a former double World champion in the Byte class. Hannah Mills won gold at the Rio Olympics, silver in London 2012 and also has a number of world championship wins to her name in the women's 470, and Alex Thompson is our around the world adventurer, who came a close second in the prestigious Vende Globe competition last year.
Take a look at our five great sailing areas.