Call Out For Volunteers 50 Days Before The Volvo Ocean Race Reaches Cardiff, Wales

Saturday April 7 marks 50 days to go before the Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s toughest and most prestigious sailing event, arrives in Cardiff on Sunday May 27 for a two week stopover – and the call is out for local people to get involved in this global sporting occasion.


07 Apr 2018

The danger of the challenge involved in the Race was brought into sharp focus last week when crew member John Fisher was lost overboard in the treacherous Southern Ocean on the fleet’s journey between New Zealand and Brazil. The tragedy received global attention, but the Race goes on, and in just seven weeks it will cross the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island to arrive in Cardiff where visitors from around the world will get a chance to get up close to the fleet, and to discover more about Cardiff. Volunteers are now being recruited to support the event, so anyone interested can visit or call 02920 205283.

Cardiff has been blessed with major international sporting events in recent years – UEFA Champions League Final; Rugby World Cup; London 2012 Olympics for example, and the people of Wales have always responded magnificently to the demand for volunteers to help make the visitor experience memorable, and fruitful for the local economy.

500 volunteers are needed to work on the Volvo Ocean Race when it stops over in Cardiff between May 27 and June 10 after its transatlantic crossing. Already signed up is Cardiff resident Hilary Coulson, a 66 year old retired nurse from Roath, Cardiff, who has had experiences she would never have dreamed of since signing up as a Cardiff Host City volunteer for London 2012.


Her track record comprises the 2011 GB Cup, an international wheelchair rugby tournament; the Cardiff Half Marathon; the cricket ICC Champions Trophy; Olympic Football, Paralympic Pre-Games Camps; UEFA Super Cup; Rugby World Cup; UEFA Champions League Final; Ashes Cricket; the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and many more. 


So what’s the attraction? Hilary said: “I must be Cardiff’s least-sporty volunteer, but that makes no difference. I’ve had years of fun, enjoyment, and the fulfilment of being part of a team. There’s a real buzz to these bit sporting events, and you meet such great people who become firm friends. I know how good these major events are for the reputation and economy of Cardiff and Wales, but I get so much out of them in personal terms. I’m proud to show off my city to these temporary residents, and with 50 days to go before the fleet arrives, I’d urge people to come and try it for the Volvo Ocean Race in this Year of the Sea in Wales.”


There will be a two week long free festival in the Volvo Ocean Race Village located near Cardiff Bay Barrage, where visitors will be able to see the boats, and find a variety of Race-themed attractions and entertainment on the waterfront, including live music and performances of LEXICON, a contemporary take on circus heritage, created by Cardiff’s own NoFit State and Firenza Guidi. The festival will 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.


The 45,000 nautical mile Volvo Ocean Race set out from Alicante last October, journeying across the great oceans with stopovers in some of the most famous maritime destinations such as Hong Kong, Cape Town, and Auckland. When it leaves Cardiff on June 10, it moves on to Gothenburg and The Hague for its finale at the end of June.

After the Volvo Ocean Race, Hilary will embark on a new adventure that volunteering has opened up for her …on the other side of the world. Hilary will travel to New Zealand and Australia to visit friends she made volunteering for the Australian Paralympic team in Cardiff, at the Golden Oldies Rugby Festival, and at the 2015 Rugby World Cup – and of course she will be volunteering at a rugby festival in New Zealand while she is there.;;


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Editor’s Notes

Volvo Ocean Race Village in Cardiff

Globe Cinema

Providing an insight into the race itself, revealing more about the characters who have raced themselves and the challenges they have faced.


National Marine Aquarium Workshops

A variety of fun-filled workshops, focusing on the issue of one-use plastic.


Replica Volvo-65

Impress your friends with a selfie behind the wheel of a replica Volvo racing yacht!


Citrus Arts performance, Shipwrecks – The Receivers of the Wreck

Highly physical performances combining circus with dance and drama to tell universal stories.


Lunchtime Music

Treat yourself to a smorgasbord of musical vibes. Each day the Street Food Village will host live music to accompany the fabulous range of food on offer.


Organised Kaos Youth Circus – Circus Workshops

Try your hand at diablo, juggling, uni-cycling and more!


Water Sports Activities

Ever wanted to get out on the water but don’t know where to start? Coaches will be on hand to offer taster sessions in sailing and stand-up paddle boarding. Register for your free space on the day!


Evening Music

When the site is open until 9pm, come and sample the delicious food and drink and unwind as the sunsets over Cardiff Bay, with music sessions curated by organisations including BBC Horizons and SWN.


Ticketed Activities

Would-be-adventurers can try their hand at the climbing wall or zip-wire while those looking for a more sedate activity can get a bird’s eye view of the village and the bay from the spectacular big wheel.


NoFit State Circus - Lexicon

We have teamed up with NoFit State, a contemporary circus company, to bring you an unmissable combination of live music, dance, stage design and film with traditional circus skills.

Visit for more information.


Military Festival of Music – Saturday 2nd June

A selection of Her Majesty the Queen’s finest Armed Forces bands including The Regimental Band and Corps of Drums of the Royal Welsh, The Bugles Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment and The Band of the Royal Marines will join us in the Volvo Ocean Race Village.



Cardiff Facts

Cardiff Bay was the largest waterfront redevelopment project in Europe when it was developed at the end of the 20th century, turning what was once the world’s largest coal exporting port into a centre for sport and recreation, hosting the annual international Extreme Sailing Series, numerous Powerboat Grand Prix and international canoeing events.


Here are some interesting facts to welcome first time visitors to Cardiff:

Over 20 million tourists visit Cardiff each year.


Cardiff is the first Fair Trade capital in the world. 

The Welsh capital claims to have more castles than any city in the world – there are 26 in the city and surrounding areas.

There is more green space per person in Cardiff than any other large UK city.


Famous children’s writer Roald Dahl was born in Cardiff.


Henry Morgan, better known as the Captain Morgan who had his name attributed to rum, was born in Cardiff in the 1600s.



Volvo Ocean Race Facts

The Volvo Ocean Race is held every three years. Each of the entries has a sailing team of between seven and eleven professional crew, depending on the gender ratios, who race day and night for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs. No fresh food is taken on board, so the crew lives off freeze-dried fare; they will experience temperature variations from −5 to +40 degrees Celsius and will only take one change of clothes.



Volvo Ocean Race Teams:

Turn The Tide On Plastic – United Nations Environment’s Clean Seas

Team AkzoNobel, The Netherlands

Dongfeng Race Team, China


Vestas 11th Hour Racing, USA / Denmark

Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag, Hong Kong

Team Brunel, The Netherlands

Skippers are allowed to change the team line-up on a leg-by-leg basis. Returning to the Southern Oceans means teams will face more gruelling conditions for longer. All male crews are allowed seven members, but they can take up to 2 females. If the gender split is event, they are allowed a team of 10, while all female crews can consist of 11 members. Skippers can nominate different crew combinations per leg. Each team must have at least two members under 30.



For further information: Tim Powell 07939 571553 /