The Volvo Ocean Race: the epitome of ocean racing competition for sailors across the globe. Newport counted itself among the lucky seaside cities to be chosen for a leg stopover this past May. There was almost two full weeks of events, racing, and celebration of this tremendous global sailing event. I was able to spectate from the water for the Pro-Am Regatta, as crews combined of both professional and amateur sailors reached back and forth across the harbor in a racing circuit showcase of the Volvo Ocean Race Teams.
The start of Leg 7, as boats prepared to cross the Atlantic in one of the last legs of the race, was a true spectacle of sailing enthusiasts. Newport harbor was choked with spectator boats clambering for a view of the race as teams rounded a mark off Castle Hill and raced downwind under the Newport Bridge before finally heading out to sea. I had a wonderful view from the rocks at Fort Weatherhill as the teams tacked from shore to shore.
With the racing finally over and Team Abu Dhabi walking away with the win, Newport is already looking eagerly ahead to the next ocean-crossing Volvo event. We topped the charts for successful stopovers and shattered expectations by both the organizers and the State of Rhode Island for interest and attendance at the Volvo Village. With the North American stopover still to be determined for the '17-'18 race, Newport residents and Northeast sailing enthusiasts alike will be crossing their fingers that we'll get the vote for the next go-around!
See all the shots from Volvo visiting Newport in 2014 and 2015 here!