The Volvo Ocean Race Sails into Newport
The only North American stopover is in Newport, May 8 through 20.
Three sailors with local connections grace the race: Bristol native Charlie Enright, skipper of the Vestas 11th Hour Racing Yacht; Nick Dana, crew member on Enright’s boat (he grew up tinkering with boats at his family’s shipyard); and Brown University graduate, Mark Towill, the Hawaiian-born team director for Vestas 11th Hour Racing with Enright.
• In 2015, Newport was the first stopover to address cleaning up the oceans of plastic and other marine debris. The Volvo Ocean Race now hosts seven Ocean Summits around the world.
• The race village is located at Fort Adams, but other places to watch sailing events include Goat Island, Beavertail and Castle Hill.
• Kids and families can try sailing for free with Sail Newport, a race sponsor that hosts the nautically curious on its fleet of J22s to get people on Narragansett Bay learning the literal ropes or “lines,” as they’re called in sailing.
• Navigating Newport gets easier with intra-harbor water taxi service being quadrupled for the event from several points in downtown Newport and Jamestown.
• Want to chat up some of the world’s best sailors? All seven team compounds at the race village will be accessible to visitors.
• Scamper aboard a life-sized sixty-five-foot boat cut-out to see what it’s like below deck where the crew eats, sleeps and cooks in very close quarters.
• In a 2015 Newport Daily News story, then-Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knute Frostad said of his seven races, first as a sailor and then as CEO, “Newport has been the most successful American stopover of all.”
• Newport by the numbers: The city was a stopover in the 2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, which saw 131,346 visitors, or an average of 10,668 per day. An estimated 16,000 watched from their own boats out on the water.
• Home stretch: The race began in Spain last October, covers 45,000 nautical miles, spans four oceans and touches six continents and twelve host cities. Newport’s stopover is just six weeks from the race finish, which ends in June in the Hague, following three race legs after Newport. volvooceanracenewport.com