With the Volvo Ocean Race set to arrive in Cape Town in the coming weeks, the V&A Waterfront have announced a new endeavour focused on fostering an appreciation and understanding of South Africa’s ocean assets: the V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival, in association with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Intended to become an annual event, the V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival will see a carefully curated programme of events and activations spread across the property between Monday, November 27, and Friday, December 8. The intention behind each of the Festival’s events will be to engage and delight visitors’ interest in ocean life, ocean sustainability and the potential of maritime assets such as South Africa’s vast oceans.
“The V&A Waterfront’s Ocean Life Festival will be held on the property every year as one of the ways in which we are looking to celebrate all that is related to the ocean” says David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront.
“Volvo Ocean Race itself has been a catalyst for the evolution of the thinking around the potential of what the oceans economy can look like for the Western Cape, and South Africa.
Supporting and developing South Africa’s oceans economy is a significant focus area for the V&A Waterfront, and the annual Oceans Life Festival will be but one of the ways we look to do this,” adds Green.
This year, the Festival will have a strong sustainability message, with many activities focusing on the harm that plastics and other foreign materials do to the world’s maritime assets. The educational programmes that form part of the Festival will highlight the deteriorating state of the world’s oceans, and explore innovative solutions to protect the future of our waters.
The Volvo Ocean race itself is the Everest of Sailing. It is the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world and sailing’s toughest team challenge, providing the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. Returning to the port of Cape Town since 2014, it will give visitors access to the sailing crews and their magnificent sailing machines – the Formula One machines of ocean racing – as well as exposing the public to the powerful legacy of ocean racing.
Partnered with the V&A Waterfront to create the Festival is the Dutch Consulate, which has taken a keen interest in working with South African entities to create sustainable solutions to ocean pollution. As one of the world’s great maritime nations with a long legacy of crossing the world’s oceans, the Netherlands has significant experience and knowledge in oceanography, providing a tangible opportunity for South Africans to learn through this partnership.