The RNLI is delighted to announce that it has been named Host City Community Partner of the round the world yacht race stopover, which comes to Cardiff between 27 May – 10 June.
The race started last October and the Cardiff stopover will signal one of the final legs before the race finishes in The Hague. This is the first time in 12 years the race has stopped in the UK and the fact Cardiff has been chosen during Wales’ Year of The Sea celebrations means it’s expected to be quite an occasion.
The partner status will give the lifesaving charity a fantastic opportunity to showcase its work and raise awareness of the role of its volunteer crews around the Welsh coast. An all-weather lifeboat will be berthed on the pontoon in Cardiff Bay and visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy guided tours around the Severn class lifeboat between 3 and 9 June.
Also in the race village will be an inshore RNLI lifeboat between 27 May and 3 June which is responsible for carrying out rescues closer to the shore. Making special appearances during the two weeks will be RNLI mascot Stormy Stan.
Teams of community safety and youth education volunteers will be present on the RNLI stand to pass on lifesaving information to race village visitors.
There will also be a presence from RNLI community fundraisers and the charity’s face to face teams.
RNLI ambassador Dee Caffari, who is currently racing around round the world in the Volvo Ocean Race as skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastics, is anticipating a warm welcome arriving into Cardiff. One of her crew who is experiencing his first round the world yacht race hails from Wales.
‘To come into home waters as a British skipper is going to be massive. It’s going to be amazing for our team as we have so much support there. We’ve got a lot of Brits onboard, including a home grown Welshman with Bleddyn Mon. So it’s going to be a proud moment and I really do hope we get the result we deserve when we come into Cardiff.
‘The British waters are some of the most hazardous with the high tides and tidal flow and we have such a treacherous coastline. In some of the toughest waters, RNLI crews put themselves in some pretty perilous conditions when the weather turns harsh. You’ve got to take your hat off to what the RNLI crews do and the weather they’re prepared to go out in, putting their own personal protection aside, risking themselves for others.’
Matt Crofts, RNLI Lifesaving Manager says:
‘As a charity which relies entirely on voluntary contributions and legacies, to have an opportunity to educate so many people about our lifesaving work really is fantastic for the RNLI. A huge part of our work is also around prevention and spreading our safety messages to ensure people respect the water and know what to do in an emergency situation.
‘This event will open up the RNLI to a huge new audience. We encourage anyone visiting to visit one of our stands, enjoy a guided tour of our all-weather lifeboat and speak with our teams about the charity’s work around the coast. The fact the stopover is coming to the UK really is quite something and to be chosen to partner this event when it comes to Wales is just fantastic.’
Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Peter Bradbury said: “I am delighted that the RNLI has come on board as Community Partner in what is set to be the most prestigious marine event Cardiff has ever seen. An honorary cause, I hope the charity can reach out to visitors and raise awareness of the fantastic work it carries out year after year.
“Cardiff is excited to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race, strengthening the city’s reputation as a waterside destination.”
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 01745 585162 or 07786 668829. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.