Sport Environment secures funding for Plymouth’s bid to host the Transat

Professional sailor, Conrad Humphreys competed in the 2004 Transat, the original single-handed transatlantic race that was founded in 1960. In 2004, the race had been acquired by Ellen Macarthur and Mark Turner and form the 2008 edition, Cities that wished to host the race would need to submit a Host City Tender. Sport Environment wrote the Tender and applied to the Regional Development Agency (RDA) for funding to support the Bid. Both were successful and the RDA awarded Sport Environment £150,000.

One of the big changes was to re-locate the event into Sutton Harbour, the heart of the Barbican district where many of Plymouth’s waterfront cafe and bars are located. The modern IMOCA 60 boats are extremely wide in their beam and it was incredibly tight to get them in through the lock gates. It was important that water levels inside the locked harbour were maintained above 5m to ensure the boats would not go aground.

Having secured Sutton Harbour Group as a main partner, our focus was on curating a cultural programme during the week ahead of the race start. We secured with a number of local artistes, which included the new Barbican Jazz and Blue Festival and a series of street performers, live shows and bands. The highlight was the welcome party on the Tall Ship with Mad Dog Macrae and Seth Lakeman performing a live set from the “Poop deck”

On the day of the start, after a frantic dock out, the amazing fleet of IMOCA 60’s and Class 40’s paraded in front of the Hoe to tens of thousands of people who came out to see them off. Over 1500 spectator boats were on the water and Conrad provide live commentary on the start for BBC.