“We were legitimately speechless, looking at the hundreds of boats lining the racecourse and the thousands of fans along the Newport shore, and when we rounded Castle Hill and the spectator fleet converged to lead us back into the Atlantic I saw nothing but smiles in every direction!
Never did we expect that kind of a turnout during a chilly May weekend in Rhode Island, but instead we were treated to a Narragansett Bay mob maybe bigger than it ever was!? Alby thinks he finally knows what it feels like to be a “footballer.” Housty says it was the most impressive sight he’s seen in three Volvo Ocean Races. Nick imagines it as busy or busier than Newport in the 80s, during the America’s Cup glory days his father always reminisces about. It was almost overwhelming–the energy and enthusiasm that everyone showed for this little event of ours–and even if just for a few hours you made us feel like rock stars. Thank you!!
We are so proud of Newport, of sailing in America, and for the unrivaled passion and excitement that we all experienced during our short stay there. Sailing is alive and well in the Ocean State and while we of course relish the return to racing, it was very, very, hard to say goodbye.
On a personal note, I was blown away by the amount of kids walking through the village, and by how much they knew. Even a surprised Will, dressed in plainclothes and very much hoping to fly under the radar, was stopped to the tune of Mr. Oxley and a cheering class of 4th graders. I am out here because I love sailing and because I love sharing our adventures, and to meet so many young kids who are following along, who say they want to someday grow up to sail in this race, and who ask the guys only one question: how do I get to where you are? It makes everything that we do worthwhile. To inspire others is as worthy a task as there ever was.”