The two-weeks stopover of the almost year-long Volvo Ocean Race (VoR) at the Table Bay in Cape Town is more than just a prestigious international water sports event, but an opportunity for global engagement among stakeholders and interested parties on how best to develop and grow maritime economies on a sustainable basis.
At least that is the view of the V&A Waterfront – one of the host venue sponsors of the VoR 2017/18 South African leg currently underway since about a week ago. Since the seven yachts dropped sails and switched off engines after touching ground at the V&A Waterfront, no less than four significant gatherings inclusive of two interrelated international conferences on oceans governance and sustainability have been held at the venue, with a few more lined up for the second and last week of the VoR 2017/18 leg.
And that is the whole point, says V&A Waterfront managing director, Mr David Green who on Thursday afternoon told this blog that the global event presented South Africa not only a top class water sport event with millions of followers globally, but also a golden opportunity to engage with maritime sector stakeholders and interested parties worldwide on a whole range of oceans related issues, inclusive of environmental management best practices as well as investment opportunities.
From an economic development perspective, apart from the tourism and hospitality subsector that stands to gain a substantial portion of the estimated R500-million the VoR pumps into the Cape Town economy, South Africa’s marine manufacturing industry, but particularly the boat building subsector stands to benefit from association with the event, he says.
For the full three (3) minutes interview click below.
The start of the global Volvo Ocean Race (VoR) South Africa leg at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town at the weekend is among highly significant water based international events that are a major contributor to development of the country’s oceans economy, event hosts; the V&A Waterfront has said.
Addressing local and international guests during the official opening of the event a few hours ahead of the arrival of the first of seven yachts participating in this year’s (2107/18) South Africa leg of the VoR across the world, V&A Waterfront CEO Mr David Green said on Friday that the event would contribute no less than R500-million to Cape Town’s economy during the two weeks stopover, from 24 November to 10 December 2017.
But crucially, the bi-annual event, he said; was a major contributor to marine tourism not only of the Western Cape but the entire country, generating opportunities for investment and expansion of businesses as well creation of much needed jobs throughout the country’s tourism sector value chain.
Local and international guests at the function included senior government officials as well as United Nations officials attending the Cape Town Ocean Summit as well as the UN, UNESCO and International Ocean Institute ‘ocean sustainability’ conferences scheduled over five days from Monday to Friday (27 Nov to Dec 01) parallel the VoR.
Mr Green described the city of Cape Town as the ‘Number 1’ city in Africa for business tourism and its events and conferencing subsectors were a vital cog to the city’s economic growth strategy to develop and sustain a reputation as an investment and business destination.
According to Mr Green, the V&A Waterfront along with the city of Cape Town, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and several other notable entities are regular sponsors of the VoR based on an understanding of the catalyst role the biannual event has on current and future business investments in the country.
He said consistent with this understanding the V&A Waterfront had on its part, continued its own business investment along the Cape Town harbor , the latest being a new multi-million rand worth ‘silo district’ that has attracted more than 70 000 visitors since completion recently.
The VoR he said, with a multi-million television audience worldwide, in addition to the more than 1.5-million people that throng the stop-over areas such as the V&A Watefront, provided an opportunity for South Africa to showcase worldwide its expertise and leading role in a whole range of areas inclusive of its depth and breadth of scientific research into ocean trends in the Southern Oceans to Antarctica, its already globally recognized boat manufacturing capabilities as well as a growing corps of well trained seafarers and vessels crew.
“Far from it being a wealthy people’s sport, the Volvo Ocean Race is a catalyst and major contributor to development of our oceans economy,” said Mr Green.
For his full remarks click below
On hand to also welcome local and international guests was Cape Town City Councillor, Mr Eddie Andrews and for whose remarks, please click below:
The pair were led in the welcome speeches by Worldsport managing director, Mr Bruce Parker-Forsyth, a long time partner and host sponsor of the VoR. For his remarks click below.
After arriving a few hours apart from about 4pm on Friday, led by the Mapfire team, the VoR 2017/18 yachts have been undergoing thorough mechanical and cleaning services at the Cape Town harbour.
The MAPFIRE team (below in red) were the winners of the South Africa leg of the VoR.
Also below, is the crew of the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team led by the American duo of Charlie Enright and Mark Towill, and whose yacht came third overall in the Cape Town’s VoR second leg. They were handed their trophy (for 11 points overall) by SAMSA’s Corporate Affairs senior manager, Ms Nthabiseng Tema.
The mechanical and cleaning services are at V&A Waterfront yacht zone.