Solid support for Newport stopover
Published on May 23rd, 2018
Over 100,000 people took in the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover between May 8 and May 20.
The 13-day event was kicked off with an exciting arrival of the seven VO65 race boats in the early morning hours of May 8 in dense fog. After 16 days of racing on Leg 8 from Brazil, the top two boats – Mapfre and Brunel – stunned spectators when they dramatically crossed the finish line off Fort Adams State Park only 61 seconds apart. Nearly 8,000 visited that day alone which turned into a brilliant afternoon for the opening of the event.
“All of us at Sail Newport were delighted at the turnout in less than perfect weather conditions throughout the 13 days,” said Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport and the stopover. “As the Volvo Ocean Race team has said over and over again… Newport is the premier stopover, and it is the knowledgeable, engaged, and enthusiastic fans in the U.S. that makes Newport such a great destination for the race.”
Over the following 12 days, another 92,000+ spectators enjoyed the event. The overall attendance figures include guests who streamed through the entrance, arrived by water taxi, visited on school field trips, watched from spectator boats, and crowded the shoreline of Fort Adams, Brenton Point, Beavertail, and Fort Wetherill State Parks.
“We were thrilled to see the crowds — clearly sailing fans were coming rain or shine, and the racing did not disappoint,” says Susan Maffei Plowden, stopover director.
The final weekend of the event was surely the most popular with a stunning 36,121 visitors counted on May 19 and 20. Those days included the Gurney’s Resorts In-Port Race and the spectacular start from Newport for the transatlantic leg to Cardiff, Wales.
In addition to spectators, a group of 885 volunteers attended the event to assist with the attractions, provide hospitality support, ensure sustainability on the Green Team, and even don the albatross suit of the race’s mascot, Wisdom. Volunteers ranged in age from 14 to 86 with an average age of 55. They hailed from 31 states and 11 countries
During the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, over 131,000 fans visited the Newport Race Village during the event’s first ever stop in Rhode Island.
2017-18 Edition: Entered Teams – Skippers
• Team AkzoNobel (NED), Simeon Tienpont (NED)
• Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Charles Caudrelier (FRA)
• MAPFRE (ESP), Xabi Fernández (ESP)
• Vestas 11th Hour Racing (DEN/USA), Charlie Enright (USA)
• Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (HKG), David Witt (AUS)
• Turn the Tide on Plastic (POR), Dee Caffari (GBR)
• Team Brunel (NED), Bouwe Bekking (NED)
Background: Racing the one design Volvo Ocean 65, the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race begins 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. A maximum of eight teams will compete.
Source: Volvo Ocean Race Newport