Volvo Ocean Race Arrives in Newport, RI

The 5,700-nautical-mile race leg from Itajai, Brazil to Newport, RI, finished off Fort Adams State Park on Tuesday, May 8, with a come-from-behind win by MAPRE in the global Volvo Ocean Race. Just a day ago, MAPFRE was in fifth place.

As Tuesday morning dawned in New England and delivered “pea-soup” fog and light winds, MAPFRE inched ahead of Team Brunel, Dongfeng Race Team and Vestas 11th Hour Racing. The final hours were a slow battle for the exhausted sailors as they were pushed around by the tide and currents, at times even drifting backward.

After nearly 16 days of racing, the margin between MAPFRE, which finished at 6:44 a.m., and Team Brunel, was only 1-minute and 1-second. The Newport arrival was a warm welcome for third-place winners and hometown sailors Charlie Enright (Bristol, RI) and Newport’s Nick Dana and crew onboard Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

In contrast to the morning’s foggy finish, the weather improved to a picture-perfect day with sunny skies and warm temperatures for the official kick-off of the Race Village.The Village offers a close-up look at the high-tech sailing vessels, along with the opportunity to try sailing at Sail Newport, visit the Team bases, visit the Ocean Exploration Zone, take the Grinding Challenge and see a working boatyard in action as the crews repair sails and other gear.

The Opening Ceremony was launched with an international Parade of Nations with country flags representing sailors’ home countries, carried by local youth. The parade started at the welcome arch and marched past the Team Bases through the Race Village. The U.S.C.G. Navy Band performed, as did the Navy Band Northeast.

The Race Village is now open every day through May 20. The full schedule of events is listed on the website.

Today (May 9), the U.S.C.G. Barque Eagle will host free public tours between 11:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Parking is free tomorrow.