In just under two weeks Cardiff will host the Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s premier sailing series and Cardiff University has been announced as a leading partner when the international sporting event makes it first visit to Wales.
The fleet, which is expected to arrive on Monday 28th May following a 2,900 nautical mile voyage from America across the Atlantic, will remain in Cardiff Bay for a two week stopover before moving onto Gothenburg and The Hague for the final legs of the race.
During this time, Cardiff Bay and the newly developed Alexandra Head will be transformed into an impressive race village, hosting a free festival of live entertainment and music, water-sports, Volvo Ocean-Race themed attractions and food, drink and trade stalls.
Carrying a strong, clean oceans message on its 45,000 nautical mile voyage across the great seas, the Race campaign highlights the eight million tonnes of plastic which flow into the world’s oceans each year.
The environmentally focused event will deliver a host of educational sessions during the two-week programme of events and Cardiff University will heavily feature with academics speaking on topics ranging from Ocean in motion: currents, conveyors and climate change to micro-plastics.
Visitors to the event will be able to hear Cardiff University staff literally shouting about the great work that they do, with Soapbox Sessions taking place at the event. With the university being home to world-changing research, the event gives the perfect opportunity for visitors to hear about it first-hand.
As a host port, Cardiff is looking into producing its own sustainability study in line with other global ports such as Hong Kong and Auckland. The race village will feature the Eco Lounge, a display of creative and top-quality furniture made from waste found in the waters around Cardiff Bay. Here the University will launch its new Sustainability Strategy and will unveil its commitment to a sustainable future.
Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Peter Bradbury said:
“Cardiff University is an establishment firmly rooted in the makeup of our city and I am delighted that it will have an integral presence when Cardiff plays host city to the Volvo Ocean Race later this month.
“With the ethos of the event surrounding sustainability and education of marine well fair, it is fitting that the University should have a place on the educational programme, offering its knowledge and research.
“Partnerships like these are essential so that Cardiff can continue hosting and delivering global sporting events which generate a substantial economic boost for Cardiff and Wales’ economy.
As the event draws closer, we look forward to welcoming Volvo Ocean Race to Cardiff and thousands of new visitors to Wales, who are set to experience a vibrant capital city and a nation with a rich and diverse cultural heritage.”
“The world has woken up to the serious problem of plastics pollution in our oceans,”
said Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University.
“We’re pleased that this issue is being highlighted at the highest level at the Volvo Ocean Race. It is an issue that we take very seriously here at Cardiff University, and we have been researching, identifying solutions and implementing change that will help reduce this problem. We are therefore delighted that the opportunity has arisen for not only the City of Cardiff to host this great event, but for the University to show its support in multiple ways to make it as successful as possible.”
The Race Village in Cardiff hosts a special Ocean Summit on World Environment Day – June 5, with strong involvement from Sky Ocean Rescue who are driving the plastic free agenda.