Newport Gets Volvo

Newport, Rhode Island was just selected to host the Volvo Ocean Race for the first time ever. The Northeast’s sailing capital will be the 6th stop in the 12th edition of one of sailing’s most challenging races, and the only stop in the United States.

The Volvo Ocean Race is a yacht race around the world, held every three years. The next running of the race is expected to kick off in Alicante, Spain, in October of 2014, and will reach Newport around May 2015 after a stop in Itajaí, Brazil. From Newport, the teams will sail across the Atlantic for the final legs around Europe. Final dates and stops are to be announced.

Volvo Ocean Race NewportNewport is primed for this type of event after hosting the America’s Cup World Series last summer along with 65,000 spectators.

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad, who was at the Rhode Island State House in Providence for the announcement on Tuesday, stated, “I’m delighted to announce that we are bringing the world’s greatest offshore sailing event to one of the world’s great sailing cities. It’s about time the Race came to the city of Newport and we are looking forward to a real festival that will delight and inspire sailing fans and those who are new to the sport.”

Frostad was joined at the presentation by Governor Lincoln Chafee, Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop, Sail Newport executive director Brad Read and other local and state officials.

“It gives me great pleasure and pride to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race to beautiful Rhode Island for the first time,” said Governor Chafee. “We have made significant strategic land and marine infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams State Park, paving the way for a new era of racing in Rhode Island and setting the stage for the world-class events we continue to host.

“We had a positive experience with the America’s Cup World Series last summer, and I look forward to welcoming the Volvo Ocean Race to Rhode Island. These large-scale sailing events draw impressive numbers of visitors to our state – visitors who make valuable contributions to our economy.”

Newport is the sixth Host Port for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 to be revealed so far. The Race will start in Alicante, Spain and visit Recife in north east Brazil. Later in the Race, the teams will race to Auckland in New Zealand before rounding Cape Horn and making a second Brazilian stop in Itajaí and then heading to Newport.

The Race will finish in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. The remaining stopovers on the 2014-15 route will be revealed over the coming weeks.