On 23/05/2019 Alan pledged support for Nelson Mandela Bay’s bid to host the 2021 stopover for The Ocean Race.
Alan Straton says:
As an avid sailor involved with many successful sailing events in Algoa Bay such as the J22 Worlds, African Optimist Championships, Mirror World Championships, Hobie 16 World Championships, SAP 5O5 World Championships, Vasco Ocean Race – to name a few high level events – I have long realised that such events are just what the City needs and benefits from from a tourism aspect.
It goes without saying that I personally have been lobbying the City for many years to consider such a bid to host The Ocean Race. We visited the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Cape Town during December 2017 and had fruitful talks.
This has led to Nelson Mandela Bay being shortlisted as a potential stopover for The Ocean Race in 2021.
The support from the City Officials, Port of Port Elizabeth, NMU Ocean Sciences, NMBBC, MBDA, NMBT, and private stakeholders has been intensely gratifying and a confirmation that we as citizens of this Friendly City really have a special bond that is infectious and makes tourists and potential partners such as The Ocean Race want to come to our City and share that with their sponsors, partners, competitors and millions of fans across the globe.
The Ocean Race ticks so many boxes for us – tourists will stay many more nights than one, it aligns with our commitment to ocean sustainability, it aligns with our desire to leave a strong sailing and maritime legacy and will bring increased employment and exposure to potential business partners from across the globe.
Yes, it will be a deep disappointment if we lose the bid to host The Ocean Race – an announcement is expected during July 2019.
On the other hand I will be the happiest man on Planet Earth should we win the bid as that just might be the culmination of many years of work and quiet praying for a good outcome. My legacy, if you will, to the wonderful citizens of the Friendly City.
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