Gearing Up For Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover
NEWPORT, RI (April 17, 2015) - The first twelve of over 100 containers that will create the infrastructure for the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover, arrived today at Fort Adams. The first group came by ship from Auckland NZ, landed in Philadelphia and were trucked to Newport. Team SCA owns the containers which will make a large hospitality pavilion and team compound for their sailing team. The entire village will be under construction through May 4 to complete the plan to structures to house the international sailing event.
The Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s preeminent circumnavigation race, visits Newport, R.I., May 5-17. Hosted by Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, the State of RI, Dept. of Environmental Management, Discover Newport and the City of Newport. The upcoming 12-day Race Village and celebration is Volvo Ocean Race’s only scheduled visit to North America during this the nine-month around-the-world sailing marathon.
Taking place over four oceans, five continents and featuring seven teams, the Volvo Ocean Race is the longest sporting event in the world. It pits the toughest sailors against nature and some of the harshest elements in a glorious demonstration of human endurance.
Newport and the state of Rhode Island have a long history of hosting international sailing events, foremost of which was the America’s Cup but also many one-design world championships. This is the first time that the Volvo Ocean Race, inaugurated more than 40 years ago in 1973-’74, will visit the “City by the Sea” in the “Ocean State.”
“We’re absolutely thrilled to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race-and the incredible sailors who race their boats through some hair-raising conditions-to Newport and Rhode Island,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “Rhode Island, and Newport in particular, has very strong ties with the international sailing community, and we consider it a huge honor and show of respect to host the only North American stopover.”
“I want to thank all of the companies and people who are helping to make the Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover the best that’s ever been in North America,” said Brad Read, the Executive Director of Sail Newport. “It’s no small feat hosting this stopover, but we couldn’t be happier welcoming the Volvo Ocean Race to town. Newport and Rhode Island are iconic destinations for sailors around the world and we’re going to have a raucous welcome for the crews.”
The Volvo Ocean Race began last October in Alicante, Spain. It has since visited five countries: South Africa, the U.A.E., China, New Zealand and, most recently, Brazil.
On Sunday, April 19, the seven crews are scheduled to embark on Leg 7, from Itajaí, Brazil, to Newport, R.I. It is a 5,000-nautical mile (5,700 statute miles) leg that takes the crews up the South Atlantic, across the Equator and into the North Atlantic before the final approach to Newport. The leaders could arrive as early as May 5, depending on the conditions the sailors encounter on the open ocean.
During the stopover a Race Village at Fort Adams State Park will be open May 5-17, every day into the early evening. and admission is free. Visitors of the America’s Cup World Series Newport in June 2012 will remember many exhibits and interactive displays. Those and many more are planned for the Volvo Ocean Race Newport stopover. From bumper boats for children to zip lines, cross sections of the Volvo Ocean 65, the race sailboat used in the race, and concerts there’ll be no shortage of activity.
An educational Exploration Zone, open May 9-17 and also with free admission, will host interactive exhibits for all ages. Exploration Zone themes include marine science and technology, geography and culture, sustainability and mathematics. A dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the Exploration Zone is scheduled Saturday, May 9, at 10:00 a.m. at Fort Adams State Park.
The first weekend of the stopover includes daily action on the water with many different boats of all sizes competing in races and all viewable from the shoreline of Fort Adams State Park. A Youth Regatta is planned May 9-10. Another regatta featuring disabled combat veterans is planned May 12-13.
In Newport, the Volvo Ocean Race crews return to the water on May 14 for a day of practice racing. The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Pro-Am Racing is scheduled for May 15, followed by the In-Port Race on May 16 and the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 8 start on May 17.