Volvo Ocean Race

MetLife Supports Combat Wounded And Injured Veterans Regatta

MetLife, a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefits programs, will sponsor the MetLife Combat Wounded & Injured Veterans Regatta in partnership with Sail Newport. The regatta is scheduled tomorrow and Wednesday, May 12-13, during the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover in Newport, R.I.

Fourteen veterans from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines will crew for the skippers of the Volvo Ocean Race aboard J/22 sloops. The regatta is part of the Wounded Veterans Retreat Program organized by Army Special Forces Sergeant/Major (Ret.) Nelson Corbin, a veteran of seven years in combat zones.

The veterans all suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Some are amputees and some are wheelchair-bound with a traumatic spinal cord injury, but they all find a sense of purpose in the event-based therapy programs that Corbin organizes.

"My biggest concern is that 22 veterans per day commit suicide throughout the U.S., and I want to affect that number," - said Corbin. "Sailing is the most popular program we run, but also scuba diving, horseback riding or hiking. We get the veterans out and doing things. They get to learn new things, new hobbies, and potentially new careers. If we can continue to get the veterans out and interacting with other veterans and learning new things, that's when they start to feel worthy again."

Last fall five of the veterans coming to Newport were in crews that participated in US Sailing's Disabled National Championship and placed first and second overall in the Sonar B Division after two weeks of training.

"We are proud to sponsor this fun and challenging event focused on improving the lives of wounded veterans," - said John Hele, MetLife executive vice president and chief financial officer. "MetLife and MetLife Foundation have a long-standing commitment to support programs and projects that help veterans and their families who sacrifice so much to preserve our freedom. We hope others will also help or donate to support this great cause."

The regatta is supported by Wounded Veterans Retreat Program and US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing. US Sailing is helping the veterans with travel and accommodation costs to Newport.

"I was astonished at how quickly they learned the sport of sailing," - said Betsy Alison, Paralympic Coach for US Sailing. "We see this regatta as an opportunity to showcase what we're doing with this pipeline program and what's being done to expand participation in the sport of sailing."

Racing will take place off the North Lawn of Fort Adams State Park with ample viewing opportunities. A practice session is scheduled tomorrow, 1-4 p.m., with racing scheduled Wednesday, May 13, 2-5 p.m.

Donations may be made to the Wounded Veterans Retreat Program, PO Box 619, Parkton, N.C., 28371, or online by clicking here.


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MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("MetLife"), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit


The only North American stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race will be hosted May 5-17 by Sail Newport, Rhode Island's Public Sailing Center, the State of Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management (DEM), Discover Newport, and the City of Newport. The twelve-day Stopover will be a public celebration and will include entertainment, a marine Exploration Zone, kids' activities, a food court, team compounds, Heineken Docks beer garden, sponsor pavilions, a theater, up-close viewing of the race boats during the Pro-Am Race, the In-Port Race, and the Leg Start to Lisbon -- all taking place within yards of the shoreline at Fort Adams State Park.

The Volvo Ocean Race features seven sailors with strong ties to Newport and two more from the U.S. for a total of nine American sailors. Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright, from Bristol, R.I., is the youngest skipper in the race at 30 years of age. Other Newporters include Nick Dana and Amory Ross (the boat captain and onboard reporter, respectively, for Team Alvimedica), Sam Greenfield (onboard reporter for Dongfeng Race Team), Corinna Halloran (onboard reporter for Team SCA). South Dakotan Sarah Hastreiter (crew Team SCA) and Hawaiian Mark Towill (co-founder and watch captain of Team Alvimedica) and both call Newport their adopted home.

Other Americans in the race include Sally Barkow (Waukesha, Wis.), a helmsperson for Team SCA, and Matt Knighton (Chicago, Il.), the onboard reporter for overall race leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. A 10th sailor, Sophie Ciszek of Team SCA, holds dual Australian and American citizenship.

Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover Port sponsors include Sweden-based SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest-products company, and 11th Hour Racing, which seeks to create systemic change for the improved health of our oceans. Other sponsors include Heineken, Cox, Sunsail, MetLife, Mt. Gay Rum, Bell Helicopter, Castle Hill Inn, National Biodiesel Board, Mot & Chandon, M32 North America, Marriott Newport, Hotel Viking, The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina and Hyatt Regency. Media sponsors include Channel 10/WJAR TV, The Newport Daily News, Coast 93.3/iHeart Radio and Sailing World. In addition, Viti Volvo, Newport Restaurant Group, Lila Delman Real Estate, Sea Corp., Rhode Island Bay Cruises, Gustave White Sotheby's International Realty, The Hinckley Company, Team Alvimedica, Focal and Dimeo Construction join the sponsors of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover.

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Video of Dragonsbane, a globe-trotting 43-foot Sceptre, at the 35th Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten, March 2015.
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