Agenda Item No.




Minutes of a Meeting held in the Cardiff International White Water, Cardiff, on 11th September, 2013.




Councillor L. Burnett (Chairman)

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Mrs. C. Dimond

Cardiff Flood Action Committee

Mr. I. Aitken

Cardiff Bay Yacht Club

Mr. J. Harrison

Natural Resources Wales

Councillor M. Cuddy

Penarth Town Council

Ms. S. Newbold

British Marine Federation

Mr. N. Ajax Lewis

Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales


Also present:


Mr. S. Howell

Cardiff Harbour Authority

Mr. C. Hope

Vale of Glamorgan Council



(a)       Apologies for Absence – 


These were received from Councillor G. Roberts (Penarth Town Council). 



(b)       Minutes – 


AGREED - T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 5th June, 2013 be accepted as a correct record.



(c)        Matters Arising – 


In referring to Minute No. (j)(iv) “Ground Water Complaints†Mrs. Dimond asked if the Advisory Committee could receive a presentation from the Ground Water Administrator at its meeting in January 2014. 



(d)       Progress Update – Cardiff Harbour Authority – Mr. Simon Howell


The warm summer weather provided a boost to visitors and businesses in the Bay but a number of challenges in relation to Water Quality for the Harbour Authority.  Oxygen levels dropped significantly in July and early August necessitating the deployment of the oxygenation barge on an almost daily basis.  Oxygen levels were kept above the 5mg standard for 99.89% of the time which reflected the efforts made by the teams involved.


The water temperature in the Bay rose to 24º at times and a small number of dead fish were found in the higher reaches of the Ely probably caused by these high water temperatures.  The high water temperatures made the Bay and rivers attractive to swimmers and despite warnings about potential water quality and underground obstructions etc. this did not deter high numbers of people entering the water.


The Barrage Bascule Bridge repairs had been completed and all three bridges were now fully operational again.  The full range of routine maintenance to the locks and sluices had also been carried out as planned over this period.


An issue had arisen over the past two months with some individuals fishing from adjacent to the fish pass on the Barrage.  This was despite signs deterring fishing in this area and had led to a number of complaints being received because of a perceived lack of action.


The numbers of salmon passing through the fish pass had been excellent throughout this period so there was no evidence that this was impacting on migratory fish.  This restricted the enforcement action that could be taken to prevent this activity in this area by NRW and other powers that were currently available to the Council and NRW are extremely limited.


Further proposals were being considered to physically prevent access to this area and the possible extension of enforcement powers to control this in future.


The marine team had started clearing natural weed that had grown along the River Taff, Ely and bay edges this summer.  Although it had not encroached on the navigation channels, removal was now required before it died off over the coming weeks and started to break loose.  Due to the unusual high volume this year it was anticipated that there were several weeks of clear up work to be undertaken.



(h)          Navigational Safety – Report from Mr. Simon Howell


There had been no significant navigational safety issues since the last meeting.


Some minor concerns and reports had been received over the last six weeks regarding the use of the Taff and potential navigation issues between two commercial operators.  The Harbour Master had held a meeting with both parties to discuss the issues in detail and improvements to the way in which they operated had been identified as a means of mitigating future problems.


As part of a continued assessment of the effect of wash on the banks and other craft, a period of wave monitoring was due to recommence between Cardiff Yacht Club’s moorings and the Bay.  This followed a period of monitoring on the River Taff.



(i)            Update Report – Natural Resources Wales – Mr. John Harrison


Mr. Harrison advised that he had little to add to the items raised earlier by Mr. Howell.


In referring to the fish deaths in the higher reaches of the Ely, it was known to be theoretically possible that fish deaths occurred at water temperatures of 24º. 


With regard to the issue of fishing, Mr. Harrison advised that anyone could fish on the seaward side of the Bay whereas fishing on the Barrage side required a license. 


Mr. Harrison was aware that fishermen were placing fishing lines close to the fish pass, but was not aware of any salmon having been caught. 


Mr. Harrison referred to discussions that had taken place regarding the construction of an artificial beach.  This was a concept at the moment, and much work would have to be carried out to assess its feasibility, including the possible flood risk.



(j)            Presentation by Mr. John Harrison – Natural Resources Wales


Mr. Harrison gave a presentation to the Advisory Committee on the work of the new organisation entitled Natural Resources Wales.


The presentation encompassed the following:


·                Who are we?

·                Natural Resources Wales is …..

·                Challenges

·                Priority areas of work

·                How to contact Natural Resources Wales.


The presentation was noted.



(k)        Volvo Round the World Yacht Race – Report by Mr. Simon Howell


The Volvo Ocean Race is the most prestigious of any of the round the world yacht races.  It is held every three years and first started in 1972 when it was sponsored by Whitbread and was then known as the Whitbread Round the World Race.


Though the route is changed to accommodate the ports of call, the race typically departs and finishes in Europe.  Each of the entries has a sailing team of 11 professional crew who race for more than 20 days at a time on some of the legs.


Economic Impact


The start and finish to the race and all port stopovers attract large numbers of spectators and visitors to the cities and regions involved.  In the 2011/12 series the following numbers of visits were made to the individual cities involved:


Host Port




Cape Town


Abu Dhabi

















The economic benefit to the cities and regions involved in the race are also significant.  The race owners, Volvo, use Pricewaterhouse Coopers to carry out Economic Impact Assessments for some of the ports using a standard methodology.  This uses an input output model based on national and regional account figures published by official national statistics offices.  The start port of Alicante is estimated to have received an overall economic impact of over €89m in the regional and over €110m in Spain overall.


Pricewaterhouse Coopers have compiled similar reports for Abu Dhabi and Sanya which showed the following benefits:



Abu Dhabi


Total Economic Impact



Spectators to Race Village



Average duration of stay (international visitors attending event)

11.5 days

9.6 days in Sanya and 8.9 days in the rest of China

VIP guests



Accredited media




Galway hosted the finish of the race in July 2012 after the final leg from Lorient in France.  This was the second time that Galway has hosted the event and the final leg included a nine day event that started the weekend before the boats arrived and concluded on the following Saturday evening with a gala presentation dinner for 1,500 guests.


It has been estimated that over 550,000 visits by spectators and tourists were made to the Galway region during the nine day event.  This is reported to be the largest event ever held in Ireland with local press reports indicating that businesses in the city confirmed that the event gave them an extraordinary boost and the economic difficulties they faced were greatly eased by the spend in the city over the event period.


Media interest was also significant throughout the race with over 4,817 hours of television coverage and 8,969 individual broadcasts.  It is estimated that the race was watched by a cumulative television audience of over 1.55 billion.  The television coverage was around 20% higher when compared to the 2008/9 event and online coverage of the event was almost 70% up on the previous event.


2014/15 Race


The 2014/15 race route is shown below:


Ports Map


2017/18 Race


Alicante, Auckland, Lisbon, Cardiff and Gothenburg are confirmed ports for the 2017/18 edition with the remaining ports along the route still to be declared.  There is a possibility that a UK boat will enter the race in 2014/15 and 201718 which would increase the media interest in the race further.


Cardiff has the advantage of being able to learn from the best practice in the 2014/15 event when establishing the arrangements for the Capital stopover in 2018.  A “team Wales†approach is being taken to take advantage of the opportunity that this race will provide and this will involve maximising the economic benefit from visitors, business development and media profile.  Plans are also being developed to consider the legacy impact, particularly on sailing, and tourism to the area.



(k)          Report of Mr. Ian Aitken – Cardiff Bay Yacht Club


With the Chairman’s permission, the Advisory Committee received a report of Mr. Ian Aitken, Training Centre Principal, Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, giving his observations on the Extreme 40s and Welsh Optimist Championships which were held on August Bank Holiday 2013.


It was reported that Cardiff Bay Yacht Club had hosted the Welsh Optimist Championships for more than 10 years, frequently attracting 125-150 entries. 

The Optimist was a small racing boat for people up to 16 years of age and was an established entry boat to national and international competition and alumni included Sir Ben Ainslie (five times Olympic gold medallist) and Hannah Mills from Dinas Powys (Olympic silver medallist). 


Competitors visiting Cardiff and elsewhere on their “circuit†would usually be accompanied by one or two adults and often by non-competitive brothers and sisters.  In Cardiff at peak this could translate into 150 competitors with, say, 2 adults or 450 people in total.  These people would provide a great pool of custom for hotels, B&Bs and pubs, restaurants and bars. 


This year, it had been agreed with the Cardiff Harbour Authority and the Extreme 40s that the first optimist race would be held at 6.00 p.m. on Saturday.  Feedback from parents was that they would not travel for an “idle Saturday†and there were only 29 entries. 


Cardiff Bay Yacht Club suffered reduced entry fees (£45 per competitor x [£85 – £29] = £2,520) and consequently reduced take in catering and bar. 


It was felt that in planning for the Extreme 40s in their final visit in August 2014, consideration should be given to ensuring continued success of the long established Optimist Welsh Championship which was an important event for Cardiff Bay Yacht Club and which also served the regeneration objectives long established for the Bay.


It was


AGREED – T H A T efforts should be made to make the event as sustainable as possible and that consideration should be given to continuing the success of the event.



(l)         Any Other Business


 (i)        Regulation on the Prevention and Management of the Introduction and Spread of Invasive Non-native Species


Mr. Lewis advised the Advisory Committee that the European Commission had just published its intentions regarding invasive species.  The details had been published on the European Commission’s website together with a short list of species that organisations must actively seek to remove. 


The Advisory Committee


AGREED – T H A T any clarity on this matter was to be welcomed and requested that it receive further updates as and when they become available.



(m)      Date of Next Meeting


AGREED – T H A T the next meeting be held on Wednesday, 20th November 2013 at 5.15 p.m.