Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover Offers Weekend Full of Action and Attraction
Photo: Dan Nerney/Sail Newport/Volvo Ocean Race Newport
Team Alvimedica, Newport's "hometown" team in the Volvo Ocean Race, enjoyed a stellar performance today on the water with wins in the Practice Race and first Pro-Am Race of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover.
Four of Team Alvimedica's nine sailors have strong ties to Newport, including skipper Charlie Enright, who was born in Bristol, R.I., Nick Dana and Amory Ross, both Newporters, and Mark Towill, who calls Newport his adopted home.
Although the sweep of both races today are not included in overall points, the wins are accomplishments nonetheless as the youngest team in the race shows its racing skills and determination to make a podium finish at the end of the global marathon.
Approximately 68,000 visitors have entered the Race Village at Fort Adams State Park since it opened on May 5, making it equal in popularity to the highly successful America's Cup World Series of 2012 with three days yet to go.
The village is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m on Sunday - the final day of the event. The Exploration Zone, a marine interactive exhibit for all ages, is open at the same time. The Race Village and Exploration Zone offer free admission for all visitors.
Racing in the Volvo Ocean 65s is the main attraction this weekend as all of the on-the-water action takes place withing yards of the shoreline of Fort Adams State Park. The final three days feature two more Pro-Am Races Friday(scheduled for 1 p.m.), the Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race Newport on Saturday (scheduled for 2 p.m.) and the Leg Start of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday. The Leg start celebration begins at 12 Noon with a parade, cultural demonstrations, music, performances, a dock-out ceremony and blessings of the fleet. Once the boats leave the dock, a parade of sail and in-shore course mark roundings will showcase the fleet before its final departure for the transatlantic crossing and next stopover in Lisbon, Portugal.
Saturday's In-Port Race has an added attraction. Zdeno Chára, captain of the NHL's Boston Bruins, will sail as guest aboard overall race leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker. He will be ashore on Saturday at 11 am to participate in an event with area youth and Race Village guests by the race boat dock.
Shoreside activities will also include kids pedal cars, games, bumper boats, a rock climbing wall and the VO65 cross section. The exhibition boat features life below deck of the ocean racer where visitors can crawl through the race boat. The cross section has been one of the most popular attractions at the village.
Also, the Volvo Ocean Race Studio Show will be playing throughout weekend in the video dome. In addition, a jumbo screen follows the on-the-water action with live coverage during racing.
Sponsor pavilions are open all weekend as are the food and beverage concessions including the Russell Morin Catering Café, Heineken Beer Garden, Mount Gay Rum Garden and Moët & Chandon Garden.
Parking is available at Fort Adams for $20 for the entire day. Shuttle buses run from parking areas to the Race Village entrance. An ADA bus will also be available for those with disabilities.
A local Volvo dealer, Viti Volo, will sponsor parking for those driving a Volvo to the event.
Visitors are also encouraged to take a water taxi from downtown Newport and from Jamestown. Bicycle racks are provided at the event as well.
Front row seats to view the racing are available at the Ocean Race Club. The club opens daily at 11:30 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Ocean Race Club website.
Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race Newport Schedule
ABOUT THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT STOPOVER
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.
AMERICAN SAILORS IN THE RACE
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, Moët & 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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