Stand-up Paddle Board champions John Hibbard and 6 year old Blue Ewer joined Professional Surfer Ben Skinner, Olympic Medallists and World Record holding athletes on Plymouth’s (UK) historical Mayflower Steps as Paul Deighton, Chief Executive of The London 2012 Olympic Organising Committee fired the starting cannon to one of the UK’s most important races to date, the race for our oceans and environment.
As surfers and athletes including Beijing Olympic Medallist Windsurfer Bryony Shaw, 2009 Vendee Globe yachtswoman Sam Davies and World Record holding Freediver Sara Campbell converged on the water, it was announced that Plymouth, UK has been selected as the host city of the inaugural BLUE Mile – Race for the Environment which next year will see thousands of participants across all ages, sports and abilities take to the water to complete one mile in, on or next to a BLUE environment in an incredible ‘race for the environment’.
UK to Africa SUPer Dave Cornthwaite, World Record holding Freediver Sara Campbell, Beijing Olympic Medalist Windsurfer Bryony Shaw, Champion Longboarder Ben Skinner and 2009 Vendee Globe yachtswoman Sam Davies.
The BLUE Mile, which will take place in the Summer of 2010, will see stand-up paddle boarders, swimmers, sailors, rowers, surfers and other sports-people take part in a event that aims to encourage young people to get actively involved with sport and the environment. The event will see Plymouth’s Hoe transformed with the creation of the city’s first natural sand beach to host a series of beach games to sit alongside a BLUE village which will include impressive experiential learning and activity zones.
Speaking from the launch Paul Deighton said: “People becoming inspired by this event will help continue building the excitement towards the Games in 2012 which are expected to transform lives and communities in the South West and deliver a discernable and lasting legacy to thousands of people in the region."
Blue Ewer supporting the Bluemile on his SUP board.
As a waterfront city with a world-renowned cluster of marine knowledge and skills, Plymouth’s waterfront was selected as the “ideal location” for an event of this scale. Plymouth provides a huge wealth of facilities that make the location completely unique within Europe. Nationally recognised as having one of the richest maritime historic environments in the UK, the Tamar Estuaries and Plymouth Sound together also constitute one of Britain’s finest estuarine complexes, popular with paddle boarders, and are designated as a vital European Marine Site which perfectly highlight The BLUE Mile message. The area’s land based assets are also ideal as the one mile course is situated directly below Plymouth Hoe creating a natural amphitheatre for the thousands of spectators expected throughout the event who will also be perfectly placed to view Plymouth’s historic Lido which will play host to The BLUE Mile’s younger participants.
The region’s sporting heritage and access to natural facilities and oceans has helped to nurture the talents of world-class athletes from the likes of Olympic Diver Tom Daley to Olympic Ocean Swimmer Cassie Patten and Surfer Ben Skinner, and the event is set to stimulate a new generation of sporting heroes. With plans to grow the event each year, The BLUE Mile aims to be replicated throughout cities nationally and internationally with Plymouth at the forefront of the initiative.
Commenting on the spectacular event, John Hibbard said: “I’m thrilled to be involved with the BLUE Mile and one of our most important races to date – the race to protect our oceans and natural environment and I urge as many people as possible to join me in rising to the challenge of completing a mile – either on the water, in it or alongside it.”
To get involved with The Blue Mile and select the way you like to undertake your mile next year head to the official website at: www.thebluemile.org and follow the latest BLUE Mile news on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/thebluemile.
Ed. BSUPA will be supporting the Bluemile in 2010 – more information coming soon.