To say it was a successful stopover is an understatement. It exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic forecasters and was a pleasant surprise for the sailors who call this port home. When the America’s Cup rolled out of town in 1986 bound for Australia, Newport went into suspended animation. A town that had lined its miles of shoreline with spectators and its shores with a fleet of boats would have to wait for more than 25 years to relive the excitement and spectacle that a major sailing event, like the Volvo Ocean Race would bring to the area. The TotalBoat team was on the water and onshore for all the fun and gathered this little stopover roundup for you!
The reentry of Newport to the world sailing event stage is not a surprise, as the area typically hosts many major international sailing events over the course of any given summer, but when the Sail Newport crowd went to work to bring the 2012 America’s Cup World Series to the port in 2012 and it was deemed a big success for the area, the stage was set for a spectacular Volvo Ocean Race stopover, and that is just what happened.
An estimated 125,000 visitors over 12 days came to the Volvo Ocean Race Village with thousands!!! of boats in the cumulative spectator fleet on the water over the course of the event. There were field trips and concerts, races and interviews, celebrities and youth sailors who ascended upon Fort Adams and with them came a host of visitors who might not have come for racing and VOR t-shirts, but soaked up the village atmosphere and offerings.
Below is a little collection of some of the coolest pics, articles and a handful of the coolest videos we saw hit the web over the past 12 days. It’s a bit of a scrapbook of what we think made this stopover so cool. Let’s hope we can revisit this blog post in a few years when Newport is again hosting the NorthAmerican stopover for the race. We should know by the end of July if that is a go – and judging by the sounds of VOR organizers, state officials and the Sail Newport crowd – it is entirely possible. They pleaded with Rhode Islanders to show up and support and rally and cheer – and that’s exactly what our littlest state did. We proved that Newport is the Sailing Capital of North America and that if you bring it – we will show. Kudos to Sail Newport, to any and all visitors who made the trek and to the State of RI and the VOR for recognizing that Little Rhody could do what it takes to make this the best stopover of the whole race. Or at least we think so.
Amory Ross, Team Alvimedica onboard Reporter said:
We are so proud of Newport, of sailing in America, and for the unrivaled passion and excitement that we all experienced during our short stay there. Sailing is alive and well in the Ocean State and while we of course relish the return to racing, it was very, very, hard to say goodbye. Here’s more of what the hometown team had to say about the stopover and restart
Mr Clean’s (Sailing Anarchy) Video Interviews with crews as they depart Newport for Lisbon, Portugal
Mapfre hits a rock on their victory lap following their In Shore Race win. (note: soundtrack is from Vestas running aground. Not this incident)