This article was written by leading food and travel journalist, Angela Youngman.
The Volvo Ocean Race is set to visit Wales in 2018. This will be the first time that the race has ever come to Wales, and the first time in a decade that it has visited the UK.
The fleet will arrive in Cardiff in May 2018. After taking part in various activities in the area, it will then beat its way northwards up the coast of the British Isles before crossing the North Sea to Gothenberg. This leg of the route has been described as being ‘potentially brutal!’
Their visit is set to prove potentially valuable for Cardiff as the arrival of the fleet attracts large numbers of visitors. Richard Mason, Operations Director for the race says;
“In the last edition we welcomed over 2.4m visitors and over 70,000 corporate guests to our host city venues. We’re determined to offer even more exciting sailing in 2017-18, while making the race village experience ever better for our fans, guests and partners.”
The race is one of the most prestigious in the world and has been described as the ultimate ocean marathon. Race Director Phil Lawrence says;
“Sailors know they put their lives on the line when they take on ‘the Everest’ of professional sailing. That’s what the Volvo Ocean Race is all about- taking the toughest conditions that Mother Nature can throw at you, and overcoming them.”
It is extremely grueling, with the 2017-18 race involving the longest course ever in the 43 year history of the race as it will be covering a total of 45,000 nautical miles. During the race, participants will cross four oceans and visit 12 major cities on six continents. The race starts in Alicante, before traveling to Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Italjai, Newport R.I., Cardiff, Gothenburg before ending in The Hague.
The Volvo Ocean Race has links with the UK. It’s very first race back in 1973 set off from Portsmouth, England. The last time the Volvo Ocean Race visited the UK was in 2006 when it revisited Portsmouth.