NEWPORT, RI (17 March 2017) – The public is invited to attend the Sail Newport Volvo Ocean Race press conference and Pep Rally on Tuesday, March 21 starting at 10:00 a.m. The major announcement will feature speakers from the Volvo Ocean Race and Sail Newport.
ABOUT THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT STOPOVER
The only North American Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race will be hosted by Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s Public Sailing Center, the State of Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management (DEM), Discover Newport, and the City of Newport. This two-week stopover celebration and festival will be open to the public for free and will include a Race Village (opens May 8, 2018) with entertainment, a marine Exploration Zone (opens May 12, 2018), kids activities, a food court, team compounds, sponsor pavilions and a theater. On-the-water activities and sailing events are scheduled for each day such as Try Sailing for families, M32 and other sailboat racing, up-close viewing of the race boats at dock and racing during the Pro-Am Race, the In-Port Races, and the boat parade and Leg Start to Cardiff, Wales (May 20, 2018) All sailing will take place within yards of the Race Village on the shoreline at Fort Adams State Park.
Volvo Ocean Race COO Tom Touber today joined Sail Newport’s Brad Read and Governor Gina Raimondo, to announce that the Race will be heading back to the Ocean State for the 2017-18 edition
– Rhode Island town to host race for a second time in 2018
– Governor Raimondo heralds Newport’s achievement
– More port announcements to come in the New Year
NEWPORT, Rhode Island, October 30 – Newport, Rhode Island, will once again host the North American stopover for the 13th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18 following the success of the sailing-mad coastal town’s hosting of the world’s leading offshore event in May.
“We’re delighted to be able to confirm that Newport will be staging a second consecutive stopover in 2018,” said Race COO, Tom Touber, at Friday’s (October 30) official announcement.
“Everything worked brilliantly in Newport in May thanks to the great work of Brad Read and his team plus the backing of the Governor, legislative leaders and State of Rhode Island agencies, and we were delighted with the large amount of spectators from our major fan base in the U.S. and elsewhere, who supported the stopover.
“Moreover, the Newport stopover was greatly valued by our stakeholders, who very much enjoyed visiting the area for its history, culture and, of course, the commercial opportunities it provided.”
The news that Newport will again be hosting the event means that seven ports for the next edition of the 42-year-old race are already known.
The east coast port joins Alicante (Spain), Cape Town (South Africa), Auckland (New Zealand), Cardiff (United Kingdom), Lisbon (Portugal) and Gothenburg (Sweden) on the list of confirmed stopovers for the 2017-18 edition.
“The route is already shaping up very nicely, although we have several more key port announcements to come, probably early in the New Year,” added Touber.
Rhode Island Governor, Gina M. Raimondo, who joined Volvo Ocean Race officials and Stopover Director Brad Read in Friday’s announcement ceremony at the State Room in the State capital, Providence, said:
“Rhode Island looks forward to welcoming back the Volvo Ocean Race in 2018, and we’re honoured to be among this list of world-class port destinations.”
She added: “This year’s event was a great success, drawing more than 130,000 fans from across the U.S. and abroad. We look forward to once again showcasing Rhode Island as a great place to visit – and do business.”
Brad Read, who heads Sail Newport, which masterminded the stopover this year, was delighted to have the chance to repeat – and improve on – the success of their inaugural hosting of the round-the-world marathon.
“Sail Newport, the Department of Environmental Management, and State Leadership, together with all of our outstanding partners, organised and hosted the most successful North American stopover in Volvo Ocean Race history,” he said.
“We did this as a non-profit organization combined with a whole lot of community heart and passion because we knew the event would be a remarkable success.”
He continued: “I believe strongly that tourists, fans, sponsors and media will travel from all over the world to Rhode Island to be part of the next Newport stopover.
“Everyone wants the Race back here. The State, the marine, business, education communities, and fans, will follow the Race until it arrives back at Castle Hill in 2018.”
The precise dates of the fleet’s visit in 2018 are not yet known but will be announced when the full route is unveiled early next year.
Hundreds of amateur sailors assembled in Portsmouth Guildhall today to discover which team and professional skipper they will be sailing with later this year in the world’s longest ocean race. They will be competing in the tenth edition of the biennial Clipper Round the World Yacht Race which departs from London on 30 August.
Clipper Race crew, who will spend up to eleven months traversing the world’s most challenging oceans, came to Portsmouth from all over the world, including North America, China, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico and across Europe, together with a strong contingent from across the UK.
The twelve teams were addressed by legendary yachtsman, Clipper Race founder and Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, with encouraging words about the challenge and adventure that lies ahead. He commented afterwards: “This is where final preparations for the race of their lives begins. Most of the crew have almost completed their training but now they can start to develop their strategies and dynamics as a team.”
The global appeal of the Clipper Race continues to grow, with crew joining the 2015-16 edition from Lebanon, Latvia and Colombia for the first time. Lebanese crew member Moussa Tawil flew into the UK via Doha and Istanbul to find out who he would be sharing his round-the-world adventure with: “I’m super excited about the whole thing. Today is quite significant as I’m sharing thoughts on tactics and finding out more about what role I’d like to play on board.
“I see this as an opportunity to test myself and think I’ll manage well. I’d like to be part of a really fun crew. When I first signed up I didn’t think much about winning, but the training has made me think more about what needs to be done to win this race.”
The Clipper Race is a unique event; it is the only ocean race to give amateur sailors the opportunity to sail around the world and at 40,000 miles it’s the longest around the planet. Many are complete novices before embarking on their extensive training and over 600 international crew will sail one or more of eight legs around the world, with around a quarter achieving the ultimate sailing experience of a full circumnavigation.
Sir Robin added: “It is important to remember that Mother Nature does not make allowances and the more the crew learn about seamanship, the safer they will be and the more they will enjoy the adventure. Over the next year they will all gain more experience and mileage in their log books than the average sailor gets in years. It will be fantastic at times, frustrating at others, but overall it will be a life fulfilling experience they will never forget.”
For the first time there will be two female skippers in the race, Wendy Tuck from Australia and Diane Reid from Canada. There will also be the first French skipper, Olivier Cardin and the first Ukrainian-German skipper, Igor Gotlibovych. At 27 years old, Igor is the youngest of this edition’s skippers and his team will represent the Chinese Olympic sailing city of Qingdao.
Igor says: “I feel very proud to be representing Qingdao. I was born in Ukraine, grew up in Germany and have lived in England for the last eight years, so there are many places that I can call home and now I can add Qingdao to that list.
“I am thrilled to finally be allocated my crew. I have met some of them during their Clipper Race training but of course we did not know we would be racing around the world together in the same team. We are a cosmopolitan bunch with people from all over the world who are very excited to get to know each other and to building on Qingdao’s legacy in competitive sailing.”
The crew come from vastly different backgrounds and professions but all have a thirst for adventure. The Clipper Race is regarded as one of the hardest endurance challenges on the ocean and races between six continents over eleven months. The organisers provide twelve identically matched 70-foot yachts, that made their debut to the race in 2013, and each team is allocated to avoid any one crew having an unfair advantage. It is ultimately down to how each team develops and how well they sail that will ultimately determine the winner of the Clipper Race Trophy with maximum points at the end of the race. Each team will represent a destination, organisation or brand.
Followers of the Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race can look forward to some exciting and exhilarating racing. The departure ceremony takes place in London on Sunday 30 August.