South East Wales

Volvo Ocean Race: 500 volunteers needed for Cardiff stage

Volvo Ocean Race Image copyright Michael Bradley | Getty
Image caption Boats raced from New Zealand to Brazil in the latest leg

A call for 500 volunteers has been made to help run a major festival when Cardiff hosts the stopover of a global sailing race.

Crews from the Volvo Ocean Race arrive on 27 May, following the transatlantic leg of the competition covering 45,000 nautical miles.

They will be berthed in the city for two weeks with thousands of spectators expected at a "race village".

Cardiff will become the first British port to host the race since 2006.

Councillor Peter Bradbury, the city council's culture and leisure cabinet member, said: "Cardiff has always been a maritime city so we're really looking forward to welcoming the crews and all the visitors to our city for what promises to be a real spectacle on the sea.

"The Volvo Ocean Race will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the city and will have a significant economic impact, boosting the local tourism industry, both in Cardiff and the wider region."

Image copyright Hilary Coulson
Image caption Hilary Coulson has volunteered for other major events in the city

Volunteers are being recruited to support the event, between May 27 and June 10, with people invited to join up online.

Retired nurse Hilary Coulson, 66, from Cardiff, has signed up after volunteering at numerous other events including the Rugby World Cup and UEFA Champions League Final.

"There's a real buzz to these big sporting events, and you meet such great people who become firm friends," she said.

The race festival site, near Cardiff Bay Barrage, includes race-themed attractions and entertainment on the waterfront, with live music and a Formula One-style pit lane featuring race teams with the boats also on show.

Image copyright Jeremie Lecaudey | Volvo Ocean Race
Image caption Welshman Bleddyn Mon has taken part in several legs in the round-the-world race

The stage seven stopover is currently under way in Brazil.

Competitors are due to head to Rhode Island in America on 22 April and then begin their journey to Cardiff from 20 May.

One man has been "lost at sea" during this year's competition.

Among the British competitors is Bleddyn Mon from Bangor, Gwynedd, who took part in last year's qualifying stages of the America's Cup alongside Sir Ben Ainslie.

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