The transatlantic leg is traditionally one of the nine-month event's biggest highlights and toughest tests for sailors in often challenging conditions. The sailors will leave Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on May 20th and will have covered approximately 2,900 nautical miles before they make landfall in Cardiff. No fresh food is carried on board, so the crew lives off freeze-dried fare and will only take one change of clothes, so stopovers such as this are a welcome sight.
Cardiff will be making its début as host of a Volvo Ocean Race stopover and the whole city is expected to be out to celebrate the occasion, which was first announced five years ago, when the then Welsh Government Business Minister, Edwina Hart, said: "The Volvo Ocean Race is a truly global event and its arrival in Cardiff will mark another historic milestone in Wales' rise as an outstanding destination for world class events."
As Volvo Ocean Race's Chief Operating Officer Tom Touber said, "Cardiff made a particularly impressive bid to win one of the coveted European slots and with such outstanding facilities and great enthusiasm I'm convinced that we will have a stopover to remember."
Going back to our roots
This is the first time the Volvo Ocean Race has visited the United Kingdom in more than a decade, but whilst Cardiff will be making its debut as host of the Volvo Ocean Race, it represents a return to its roots since the race began life as the ‘Whitbread Round the World Race' over 37 years ago.
Join us in Cardiff
For the Volvo Group, however, the race is more than just a yacht race. The race represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate the Group's strong commitment to working to bring about cleaner oceans.
As such, Volvo is excited to be inviting you to Cardiff and share in the thrill of the race. See the boats, meet the sailors, watch the in-port race and cheer on the teams as they experience the adventure of a lifetime.
Located across the bay from Cardiff city centre, the free-to-enter Race Village opens for visitors on 27th May 2018. Way Finding towers which will help you navigate the entire experience with each tower featuring screens to keep visitors updated on the Race leaderboard and provide information on local events to ensure no action is missed.
Packed with things to do, see and experience, the Race Village will showcase :
To celebrate the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Trucks has launched a LHD-only special edition FH or FH16 truck with Globetrotter or Globetrotter XL cabs that complement the boats with their unique design and world-class performance.
For ‘adrenaline junkies', there will be an exciting Sky Ocean Rescue In-Port Race scheduled for June 8th 2018 at 14:00hrs.
At the heart of the Race Village is 'The Globe', a large dome that serves as our Sustainability Centre to illustrate the growing problem of plastic pollution - as highlighted in BBC's ‘Blue Planet' - and explains the need to act now before it is too late.
As Henry Sténson, Volvo's EVP Group Communication & Sustainability Affairs explains, "The Volvo Ocean Race is a fantastic communication platform for raising awareness around the littering of the oceans - one of the biggest challenges we face in the field of sustainability today."
Indeed, one of the boats is named, ‘Turn The Tide On Plastic' and is helping to spread the message about the damage caused by plastic in the oceans and is actually collecting data on microplastics as it voyages around the world. Amongst its crew is Welshman Bleddyn Môn, who's looking forward to coming home in May.
Bleddyn said: "The Volvo Ocean Race is a huge test of ability and resilience, and it's been one of the most amazing experience of my life. And, as a proud Welshman, it's terrific that Cardiff is the UK stopover and I'm so looking forward to catching up with family and friends when we reach Cardiff Bay."
And, of course, there will be a chance to get ‘up close and personal' with the actual Volvo Ocean 65 race boats sailed in the race as they sit dockside.
With Cardiff being only a 2-hour train ride from London and easily accessible by fast motorway links and regional airports, there's no excuse not to visit Race Village.
Arriva Trains Wales will have a dedicated shuttle service between Cardiff Queen Street Station and Cardiff Bay and a BayCar bus (Service 6) will operate between Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay (Barrage Walkway bus stop).
See here for details.
Parking is also available at three places around the site at Havannah Street (CF10 5SG), Stuart Street (CF10 5BZ) and Pierhead Street (CF10 4PH).
The race goes on...
The race boats will leave for their penultimate detination - Gothenburg in Sweden - at 16:00hrs on 10th June 2018, ahead of the final leg into Scheveningen, near The Hague in the Netherlands on 24th June 2018.
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