Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race Newport exploration zone opens tomorrow with Marine exhibits for all ages

A prominent feature of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, R.I., is the Exploration Zone - presented by SCA and 11th Hour Racing, which features 22 exhibits from 20 educational partners.

With interactive exhibits for all ages and free admission, the Exploration Zone aims to educate and inspire visitors about the sport of sailing, the oceans, and to discover continents and cultures around the world through the lens of the world's most grueling sailboat race. Exploration Zone themes include marine science and technology, geography and culture, sustainability, mathematics and sailing.

"The Exploration Zone will offer something for everyone. We're excited by the diversity of exhibitors and their commitment to make it as fun and interesting to all of our guests," - said R. Mark Davis, president of Sailors for the Sea and a co-chairman of the Education Committee for the Newport Stopover.

Supported by Port Partners SCA, the Sweden-based global hygiene and forest-products company, and Newport-based 11th Hour Racing, which seeks to create systemic change for the improved health of our oceans, the Exploration Zone will enlighten visitors on topics such as solar energy, habitat and water conservation. It also attempts to raise awareness about the problem of marine debris and ocean acidification. There will be interactive exhibits for all ages showcasing marine life, weather experiences and marine technology.

The URI Graduate School of Oceanography and NOAA are prominent exhibitors, as well as 5 Gyres Institute, SCA Americas, Clean Ocean Access, E2SOL, Newport Renewables, the Rhode Island Sea Grant/Coastal Resources Center, Inner Space Center, US Sailing/REACH, Sailors for the Sea, IYRS School of Technology and Trades, the Rose Island Lighthouse, Collaborative Community Sailing booth, and a collaborative effort from the Jamestown Arts Center, Women's Resource Center and the Met School. Visitors also can tour Rhode Island's Official Sailing Educational Vessel, the tall ship Oliver Hazard Perry, which will be berthed at the new pier at Fort Adams State Park, until May 13.

Stopover officials have encouraged local schools to take field trips to the stopover. More than 2,500 school children are planning field trips to the Race Village.

"An educational component was an important aspect of the stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race," - said Kim Hapgood of Sail Newport. "This builds on the wildly successful Exploration Zone we did for the America's Cup World Series in 2012, but expands on it greatly. There's a broader cross section of activities and experiences."

The Exploration Zone officially opens on Saturday, May 9, with a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 a.m. The Exploration Zone will be open daily with the Race Village.


Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race Newport Schedule



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.

Follow the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover on the Web, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter



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

SB Store