Arrives in Cardiff

Festival Timings

Sunday 27 May - Sunday 10 June
The fleet estimated date of arrival is Bank Holiday Monday (28 May)

Festival Opening Hours
Sunday - Thursday (10am-7pm). Friday - Saturday (10am-9pm).

Race Days
Friday 8 June - In Port Race in the Estuary; Saturday 9 June - Pro-Am Race in Cardiff Bay; Sunday 10 June 4pm - the boats will depart Cardiff for Gothenburg, Sweden. All races can be viewed from a dedicated area in the Festival Site. If you have your own boat and want to view from the water, see the Plan Your Visit page.


With a variety of entertainment, Volvo Ocean Race-themed attractions and food and drink stalls, the Race Village festival site is guaranteed to appeal to a variety of people looking for an exciting day out.

Find out more about the ultimate ocean marathon, across the world’s toughest oceans, in the Volvo Ocean Race cinema – and don’t forget to take a photograph with the iconic trophy. Explore the Race Village and experience a range of action-packed activities, visit the trade stalls or just relax and listen to the live music on the waterfront.

The festival will also have a Welsh flavour, with Welsh producers offering locally-sourced food and drink – from bars offering real ale to the most popular street food vendors. More importantly, it’s the opportunity to give a big Welsh welcome, and show support, to the teams bold enough to compete in the world’s toughest oceans for the ultimate sporting prize.


Why has the race not visited the United Kingdom for so long?

There are a lot of factors surrounding the selection of ports for the Volvo Ocean Race – and much competition. Cardiff presented an excellent campaign for the 13th edition and was deservedly selected.

What are the key event dates?

Hosting a variety of entertainment, the Race Village opens on 27 May – and the estimated date for the boats’ arrival is 28 May.

The In-Port Race is scheduled for 8 June, before the Leg Start on 10 June, when the competitors depart for Gothenburg, Sweden.

Where will the Race Village be located and what will it offer?

A new event site is being prepared near Alexandra Dock and the Cardiff Bay Barrage. The event is free to enter and will showcase the Volvo Ocean Race and Pro-Am races, as well as a festival, where visitors can enjoy Welsh culture, entertainment and much more.

Will the boats be berthed in the Inner Harbour?

Much as we would like them to be, our boats are big racing machines and there is simply not enough depth of water in the Inner Harbour.

What happens if it is low tide when the first boat arrives in Cardiff?

The boats will enter the port area via the lock gates, which are accessible five hours over high water, approximately two hours before high water and three hours after. Should the fleet arrive when it’s not possible for them to enter the lock, then the shore crew will take care of the boats, while the racing crew are brought ashore by RIB.

Where will the Cardiff In-Port Race take place? Inside or outside?

The Cardiff In-Port Race, Practice Race, Pro-Am races and Leg Start will all start on the outside course, due to lack of depth in the Inner Harbour. It will be high water during the day over the weekend of the In-Port Race and the start, which will enable the fleet, plus spectator boats, full access to the race area.

Who manages the Volvo Ocean Race Cardiff stopover?

Following a competitive bidding process in 2012, Cardiff was awarded the right to host a UK stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. The Volvo Ocean Race Cardiff stopover event will take place from 27 May to 10 June 2018 and is funded by Welsh Government, the City of Cardiff Council and Cardiff Harbour Authority. The City of Cardiff Council and Cardiff Harbour Authority will manage and deliver the event with support from key partners including Associated British Ports. 

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