Plans underway for Newport Stopover

Published on January 30th, 2018

Hosting the only North American Stopover of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, the Newport Stopover is scheduled for May 8-20, and organized by Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, the State of Rhode Island, the R.I. Dept. of Environmental Management (RIDEM) and Commerce RI.

The Stopover marks the second time the race calls on the City-by-the-Sea, having previously visited in May 2015 for the 2014-2015 edition of the race. That first-time stopover attracted people far and wide to Newport for 13 glorious spring days of celebration at Fort Adams State Park.

“Newport did not disappoint for the last race,” noted Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck. “You could not not know an event was occurring. The town was covered in signage, the sidewalks were buzzing, and I had a great time. I am certain it will be nuts again.”

More than 130,000 people visited the Race Village in 2015. Another 16,000-plus are estimated to have watched the VO65 race boats from waterborne vessels. Forty-two percent of the visitors came from outside of Rhode Island and 10 percent of those attendees were from foreign countries.

The visitors contributed to a total economic impact of $47.7 million to the Rhode Island economy. The boost was welcomed by local businesses and patrons, who were coming off a cold and snowy winter.

“We’re excited to have the Volvo Ocean Race returning to Newport,” said Sue Maffei-Plowden, stopover director. “Many local and international guests who visited in 2015 remember a great time with exciting racing and an entertaining and inspiring Race Village. We’re building on the success of the last event and adding new activities and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy.”

The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village officially opens on May 8 with entry to the Race Village free of charge. Important dates of the Stopover include:

· May 8, 4 p.m.: Opening of Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village at Fort Adams State Park
· May 10-11: Estimated arrivals of Volvo Ocean Race fleet from Brazil
· May 17, 3 p.m.: Volvo Ocean Race Newport Pro-Am Race
· May 19, 2 p.m.: Volvo Ocean Race Newport In-Port Race
· May 20, 2 p.m.: Start of trans-Atlantic leg of Volvo Ocean Race to Cardiff, Wales

Complete schedule… click here.

The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village will be open daily 11 a.m.- 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. on weekends and the days leading up to the Race’s trans-Atlantic start to Cardiff, Wales on May 20. All activities surrounding the Volvo Ocean Race Newport will be based at Fort Adams State Park, and all of the racing will be viewable from the North and West Lawn of the park within yards of the shoreline.

A feature of the Stopover will be the One Ocean Exploration Zone, which builds on from the wildly popular Exploration Zone of the previous stopover. The Exploration Zone proved so popular that Volvo Ocean Race officials have encouraged each stopover to host a similarly themed exposition.

Inside the Fort, on the historic Parade Field, The One Ocean Exploration Zone will feature more interactive and educational exhibits on marine life, sailing, ocean conservation, wind, water and weather experiences, and marine technology all with an emphasis on sustainability.

The North Lawn at Fort Adams will host Race Village activities and an outdoor cocktail cafe, where Dock Party entertainment is also planned.

As in 2015, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet will be berthed at the state piers for easy fan viewing.

During the Stopover, Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, will offer “Try Sailing!” opportunities aboard their fleet of J/22 sailboats with experienced skippers. All ages will be invited.

The fleet arrives in Newport at the conclusion of Leg 8, which starts from Itajaí, Brazil on April 22. The fleet departs Newport on May 20 for Leg 9, a 3,300-nautical mile trans-Atlantic crossing bound for Cardiff, Wales.


Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante, Spain on October 22 2017 with the final finish in The Hague, Netherlands on June 30 2018. In total, the 11-leg race will visit 12 cities in six continents: Alicante, Lisbon, Cape Town, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Cardiff, Gothenburg, and The Hague.

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