Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover Attracts More Than 48,000 people in first six days

The opening weekend of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover drew more than 28,000 visitors to the Race Village at Fort Adams State Park.

The past weekend drew a combined 28,712 visitors. Since the Race Village opened on Tuesday, May 5, a total of 48,360 people have visited.

Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race 2015

"These numbers are beyond our expectations and even more impressive since the race crews had the weekend off," - said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport and director of the stopover. "We're looking forward to similarly large crowds at the end of this week, when we'll have four consecutive days of racing on Narragansett Bay, capped by the start of Leg 7 on Sunday."

The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover is the only North American stop of the global race and the first time that the race has visited Newport, R.I.

The past weekend's crowds were due in part to Saturday's opening of the Exploration Zone, a marine-themed educational experience with 22 interactive exhibits. Sunday's activities included the celebration of Mother's Day, such as a special yoga session. Other activities for kids included bumper boats, a bubble soccer tournament, and face painting.

Visitors could also view the Volvo Ocean 65 race boats, both in the water and a unique cross-section onshore. Guests also toured Rhode Island's official educational vessel, the Oliver Hazard Perry.

The coming week sees the focus of the stopover return to the water while the many shore side family activities continue. Tomorrow and Wednesday, May 12-13, features the MetLife Combat Wounded and Injured Veterans Regatta, with 14 veterans crewing for skippers of the Volvo Ocean Race.

On Thursday, May 14, The Volvo Ocean Racing crews return to the water for a day of practice racing and the first Pro-Am Race. Friday the crews will participate in two more Pro-Am races. The Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race Newport is slated for 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. The Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 start to Portugal is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, with a dock-out show, parade and local ceremonial send-off starting at 12 noon.


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.

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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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