The Ecover Blue Mile took center stage on the opening weekend of the inaugural Marine City Festival. Plymouth’s waterfront looked stunning in the blazing sunshine as hundreds of people took to the water to swim and paddle a mile for the environment. Thousands of people visited the Ecover Blue Mile event village to watch friends and family take part in the challenging one mile course which started from the historical Mayflower Steps.
Members of the public also got a rare opportunity to see four Olympic Champions in action as Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott raced against double gold medalist and WWF Ambassador, Andrew Triggs-Hodge MBE in the Fatyak Kayak race, whilst Plymouth’s very own Ruta Meilutyte, gold medallist in the 100m breaststroke, joined her team mates from Plymouth Leander Swimming Club in the open water swim.
On Saturday evening over 150 guests enjoyed a special fundraising dinner put on by The Boathouse Café, which was fitting as the team had earlier won the Corporate Team Challenge. Ocean rower, Sarah Outen MBE was the guest speaker and she left the audience enthralled by not only her courage, but also her connection with the ocean. WWF organised a silent auction, with top prizes being a signed Fatyak Kafuu kayak and a year’s supply of Ecover cleaning products. The dinner raised £1500 to support the work that WWF are doing to protect our rivers and oceans.
Event organisers, Sport Environment were thrilled with the public’s response to the event. This was the second time the event has been held in Plymouth and the conditions were absolutely perfect. Conrad Humphreys, Managing Director at Sport Environment said, “What a fantastic weekend of sporting entertainment combined with raising money for a great cause. It was lovely to be back in Plymouth this year and we are delighted with the turnout.”
Clare Allman, Head of Marketing at Ecover said “The Ecover Blue Mile in Plymouth exceeded our expectations, participation and engagement were high and the event space created a lot of positive connections and buzz.”
Patrick Laine, Director Corporate Partnerships, WWF said “The Ecover Blue Mile event in Plymouth was a great success. The participation of Olympic Champions and a transoceanic rower was inspirational, but equally notable was their genuine and enthusiastic support for increasing the protection of our precious rivers and oceans. Events like the Ecover Blue Mile highlight just how important these water resources are for people and planet.”
Etienne Stott, Olympic Champion Canoe Slalom C2 said, “I really enjoyed the stand-up paddling and I was pleasantly surprised to be so good at it. I managed to stay upright for most of it and came third, with Tim winning the race – but got even later in the day though by winning the kayaking event! It was lovely to experience the beautiful sea too. Thanks to WWF, Ecover and Fatyak for putting on the event, I hope it carries on to be so successful in the future.”
In total 270 people took part in the Ecover Blue Mile Plymouth event to swim, kayak or stand-up paddle a mile. Later this week, 400 school children will take to the water and paddle their own mile in the Schools Blue Mile Challenge.
It’s not too late to organise a Blue Mile event in your local waterway, so why not complete your own blue mile? It’s easy to take part – simply walk, run, swim, kayak or row a mile for WWF! For more information and to register visit thebluemile.org.