So what if you’re not a sailor… If you are a mariner of any form – or a beachgoer who wishes our oceans were less filled with debris and plastic – then hurry down to the Newport Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. The Newport Race Village is set up at Fort Adams and is open daily until this coming Sunday afternoon when they pack it all up again and the whole dog and pony show is onto Europe.
Aside from the very cool Volvo Ocean 65 boats at their berths, there is a half hull of one of the boats that you can get into and on top of and you can get your pic snapped driving even, complete with the massive Southern Ocean swell following behind you.
The Ocean Exploration Zone is open in the middle of the fort. It’s adjacent to amazing local food vendors, a beer garden and lots more.
And then there are the boats, the team bases and the many sailors wandering the base that make it very fun to visit. If you visit on Friday you could catch the Pro-Am Race. At 1400 hours on both Saturday and Sunday, there will be great action on the water to see right from your perch on land. Saturday’s In-Port Race counts for points towards their standings, and the Leg Start on Sunday sees them blasting off from Narragansett Bay across the still very chilly Atlantic Ocean to Cardiff in the UK. the fleet is expected there around the 27th of May.
If you can get to the Village by noon on either day, you’ll be treated to the amazing “Dock Out” ceremony, complete with star sailors, music and plenty of celebratory ceremonial fanfare. This alone is quite a show, which is then followed up by the boats sailing very close to the Fort Adams shore. And then, after they point their bows towards the UK and sail off over the horizon – it’s over. For now. Let’s hope we get the race back in a few years because it’s been another great stopover and with little old Rhode Island representing the sole North American stop, we just can’t leave our legacy to anyone else. We’ve come too far and done too good a job at showing up and making a big fuss over the race. So please go check it out. It’s a great way to spend a weekend day. See you there!