The Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s longest professional sporting event and leading offshore boating competition, will be adding to the heritage of Newport, Rhode Island as a great American sailing town when the event stops by New England on May 4-17. The race, which began in the Spanish Port of Alicante on Oct. 11, 2014, will bring competitors to 11 countries in five continents over the 38,739 nautical-mile course.
Each host port stages a festival lasting around two weeks, featuring free family entertainment and a chance to join in the festive atmosphere. The Race Village in Newport opens on May 5, Cinco de Mayo - join the party to welcome the boats to the only North American stopover. Enjoy the Exploration Zone, a festival for all ages and many more family activities at Fort Adams State Park. The Pro-Am Racing, In-Port Race and the seventh of nine total leg starts, this one to Lisbon, Portugal, will be held within yards of the shoreline in the same natural stadium that hosted decades of America's Cup Racing, Narragansett Bay starting on May 14th. The In-Port race starts on the 16th with the actual leg beginning on the 17th.
This is the 12th edition of the 41-year-old event; one of the Big Three global sailing events along with the America’s Cup and the Olympics. A lot has changed over four-plus decades, but the essence of the race remains the same. It is a revered human challenge and a battle with nature. The winner receives no monetary reward; instead, like the Olympic medal, the Volvo Ocean Race trophy symbolizes the glory of winning what is still one of the most extreme challenges in the world of sport.
In this edition, seven teams are crossing the equivalent of twice the circumference of the Earth and battling it out for the extreme honor of being a Volvo Ocean Race winner. Team Alvimedica, a youth challenge group, and Team SCA, an all-female team, both have crew members from the United States participating. Aside from the sojourn in America, the route includes stopovers in South Africa, UAE, China, New Zealand, Brazil, Portugal, and France. The course concludes in Gothenburg, Sweden, home of the Volvo Group headquarters.
Built to withstand the toughest sailing conditions, the Volvo Ocean 65 is the vessel designed for this challenge. Seven identical boats, created by Farr Yacht Design in the U.S., were built in four different European countries, with 36,000 man-hours of working power invested into the construction of just one.
To see these amazing machines in action, follow Volvo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Download the Volvo Ocean Race app from the App Store or Google Play to virtually race one yourself!
For more information on the Newport stopover, visit http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/ports/32_Newport.html.
This article is presented by Kundert Volvo in Hasbrouck Heights and Englewood, NJ.