In 100 days the Volvo Ocean Race will return to Newport, RI, for the only North American Stopover of the 2017-18 round-the-world sailing race.
The Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante, Spain on October of 2017 and when complete, the 2017-2018 edition will have taken the seven teams 45,000 nautical miles around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and 12 Host Cities. Upon the arrival in Rhode Island, the teams will be over half way through the race which is expected to finish in June of 2018 in The Hague.
The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover, scheduled May 8 – 20, is hosted by Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, the State of Rhode Island, the R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and Commerce RI.
The Stopover marks the second time the race calls on the City-by-the-Sea, having previously visited in May 2015 for the 2014-2015 edition of the race. That first-time stopover attracted people far and wide to Newport for 13 glorious spring days of celebration at Fort Adams State Park.
More than 130,000 people visited the Race Village in 2015. Another 16,000-plus are estimated to have watched the VO65 race boats from waterborne vessels. Forty-two percent of the visitors came from outside of Rhode Island and, 10 percent of those attendees were from foreign countries.
The visitors contributed to a total economic impact of $47.7 million to the Rhode Island economy. The boost was welcomed by local businesses and patrons, who were coming off a cold and snowy winter.
“We’re excited to have the Volvo Ocean Race returning to Newport,” said Sue Maffei-Plowden, stopover director. “Many local and international guests who visited in 2015 remember a great time with exciting racing and an entertaining and inspiring Race Village. We’re building on the success of the last event and adding new activities and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.”
The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village officially opens on May 8. Once again, entry to the Race Village will be free of charge. Important dates of the Stopover include:
· May 8, 4 p.m.: Opening of Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village at Fort Adams State Park
· May 10-11: Estimated arrivals of Volvo Ocean Race fleet from Brazil
· May 17, 3 p.m.: Volvo Ocean Race Newport Pro-Am Race
· May 19, 2 p.m.: Volvo Ocean Race Newport In-Port Race
· May 20, 2 p.m.: Start of trans-Atlantic leg of Volvo Ocean Race to Cardiff, Wales
The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village will be open daily 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. -7 p.m. on weekends and the days leading up to the Race’s trans-Atlantic start to Cardiff, Wales on May 20. All activities surrounding the Volvo Ocean Race Newport will be based at Fort Adams State Park, and all of the racing will be viewable from the North and West Lawn of the park within yards of the shoreline.
A feature of the Stopover will be the One Ocean Exploration Zone, which builds on from the wildly popular Exploration Zone of the previous stopover. The Exploration Zone proved so popular that Volvo Ocean Race officials have encouraged each stopover to host a similarly themed exposition.
Inside the Fort, on the historic Parade Field, The One Ocean Exploration Zone will feature more interactive and educational exhibits on marine life, sailing, ocean conservation, wind, water and weather experiences, and marine technology all with an emphasis on sustainability.
The North Lawn at Fort Adams will host Race Village activities and an outdoor cocktail cafe, where Dock Party entertainment is also planned.
As in 2015, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet will be berthed at the state piers for easy fan viewing.
During the Stopover, Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, will offer “Try Sailing!” opportunities aboard their fleet of J/22 sailboats with experienced skippers. All ages will be invited.
The fleet arrives in Newport at the conclusion of Leg 8, which starts from Itajaí, Brazil on April 22. The fleet departs Newport on May 20 for Leg 9, a 3,300-nautical mile trans-Atlantic crossing bound for Cardiff, Wales.
Volvo Ocean Race Newport Schedule highlights
ONLINE EVENT SCHEDULE (subject to change)
- Open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.: May 9-11, 14-16
- Open 10 a.m.-7 p.m.: May 12-13, 17-20
One Ocean Exploration Zone
- Open all hours when the Race Village is open
- 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., May 9 – 17
- 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., May 18 – 20
- May 11, 16, 18 at 4:30 p.m.
Volvo Ocean Race Fleet Sailing Days
- Tuesday, May 15, TBA – Free Practice
- Wednesday, May 16, TBA – Practice Race
Thursday, May 17
- Practice Race at 1 p.m.
- Pro-Am Race at 3 p.m.
- After racing, Awards Ceremony
Friday, May 18
- M32 Pro-Am Race, time TBA
- Leg 8 prize giving in Race Village
Saturday, May 19
- In-Port Race Dock Out Show at 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
- In-Port Race at 2 p.m.
- After racing, In-Port Race prize giving
Sunday, May 20
- Leg 9 Start Dock Out Show at 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
- Followed by start of Leg 9 at 2 p.m. on Narragansett Bay