The Transat Bakerly


Contributor Paul Gibbins finds out how this international event impacted a local project

Morvargh Sailing Project Online

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The Transat Bakery yacht race was certainly an amazing event for the city of Plymouth. Estimated to have brought in in excess of £3m to the local economy, this auspicious international sailing event captured local attention.

Following the start of the race, Made In Plymouth contributor Paul Gibbins caught up with Matthew Barraud, Director of local sailing endeavour the Morvargh Sailing Project. Matthew penned a few thoughts on how this event made an impact on his own sailing project:

“It’s amazing that some of Transat Bakerly fleet are now a massive 2000 miles away from Plymouth; and they only left on Monday afternoon! They still have another 2000 miles to sail however and there are depressions in the Atlantic that are about to shake things up.”

“Looking closer to home we’re cheering on Loïck Peyron in Pen Duick II. Loïck is sailing a more traditional vessel, which has many more similarities with our own Tall Ship, Helen Mary R than the super modern, high tech racers that are leading the fleet.”

“Reflecting on the Transat and how fantastic the event was for Plymouth, we were very honoured to be asked to make up part of the start line with Helen Mary R and work with OC Sport, Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Waterfront Partnership to help make the event what it was in our own small way. Being part of the Transat also allowed me to see how a well-run international organisation such as OC Sport embraced sponsors. We will be certainly taking those lessons further in our own search for support.”

“This event has shown the importance of association and story; the Transat used the story of the individual skippers very effectively and like them, Morvargh has its own unique story. Our tall ship, Helen Mary R, has taken over 5000 young people sailing offshore and sailed over 100,000 miles. We continue to engage local businesses to be part of this journey, and through their support I very much hope we will continue to help create a lasting legacy for our young people and get sailing again. We are currently in need of replacing our standing rigging and hope to engage local businesses for sponsorship. The Transat Bakerly showed us how business and sport connect, something that all of us on the Morvargh project are keen to replicate.”

Morvargh Sailing Project is a Community Interest Company (CIC) which has enabled thousands of young people to sail offshore, giving them a sense of risk and adventure. They learn about the importance of teamwork and resilience, and for many of them it’s a life changing experience as they have little or no experience of sailing. The CIC is currently trying to raise the funds to get Helen Mary R sailing again.

Read about their Crowdfunder or for more information about the Morvargh Sailing Project visit their website.