Plymouth has won its bid to host the start of the next edition of the prestigious Transat sailing event in 2016.
Born as the OSTAR and the original solo race across the North Atlantic in 1960, The Transat has firmly established itself as one of the major events in the professional yachting calendar.
The first edition went from Plymouth to New York and this successful bid by Britain’s Ocean City means the race will once again start from its historic home on Sunday 8 May 2016.
Councillor Peter Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “We’re over the moon that OC Sport has selected Plymouth as the host venue for The Transat in 2016. Businesses in the city have rallied to support our bid and we’re looking forward to staging a spectacular and memorable event in the race’s historic home.
“Our stunning waterfront and rich maritime heritage make Plymouth the perfect venue for world-class sailing events and being chosen to host the next edition of The Transat is another amazing coup for Britain’s Ocean City.
“We’ll be working to create a real regatta feel for the event and enlivening the Hoe, Barbican and Sutton Harbour with music, entertainment, stalls and much more for sailing enthusiasts, families and visitors to enjoy.”
OC Sport is the rights-holder of The Transat and organised the races in 2004 and 2008. Its Offshore Sailing Events Director Hervé Favre said: “We were delighted to receive several good bids to host the start of The Transat in 2016. The Plymouth City Council bid was extremely strong and we’re very much looking forward to working with Plymouth again.
“We are especially pleased that not only will Plymouth ensure the infrastructure and support required to host a race of this stature will be in place, but that they are also committed to ensuring this race is an event for the people of Plymouth and its visitors.”
Chris Arscott, Chairman of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District, said: “Our private sector voice working alongside the City Council within the bid has worked brilliantly to secure The Transat for Plymouth. We’re thrilled businesses across the waterfront will benefit greatly from the extra visitors these events are sure to attract and it presents yet another major accolade to reinforce Britain’s Ocean City’s position as a leading UK destination.”