The Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s most challenging ocean race, circumnavigating the planet and covering 45,000+ nautical miles, and it will make Newport its only stopover in all of North America. The race, featuring seven one-design high-performance boats equipped with the latest technology, left Alicante, Spain in October and we can expect arrival in Newport around May 10. Then, Newport’s Fort Adams State Park turns into a festive atmosphere for 13 days with a Race Village featuring music and entertainment, up-close viewing of the race boats and racing, interactive exhibits, a theater, food and drink gardens and of course, In-Port racing. (To put this in perspective, when the race was here in 2015, more than 130,000 fans passed through Newport’s Race Village making it one of the most popular stopovers ever in race history in the U.S.)
FUN FOR FAMILIES:
- Entrance to the Race Village is free. (A fee for parking will be charged May 17-20!)
- It’s 13-days long and there’s something for every age
- It’s educational: the Race Village includes so many fun but informational exhibits. The One Ocean Exploration Zone is full of interactive exhibits highlighting ocean sustainability, marine science and and sailing recreation.
- At the heart of this event is the goal to inform and inspire as many ocean ambassadors as possible to save our oceans and to sign the “Clean Ocean Pledge.”
- Wisdom, the albatross mascot – the albatross has long been a guide and inspiration to sailors at sea. Here at the Race Village, Wisdom keeps the excitement up and explains the importance of keeping our oceans clean. Kids can also learn about all the other ports around the world.
- Kids and families can experience sailing FOR FREE! “Try Sailing” Instructors from Sail Newport welcome people of all ages on their fleet of J22s and they’ll get on gorgeous Narragansett Bay to learn the ropes—literally!
- Did I say interactive? Visitors can see a movie in the Globe theater that will make them feel like they are onboard one of the sleek racing boats and in the middle of all the action.
- All ages can climb aboard a life-size 65′ boat cut-out and see what it’s like to crawl below deck, or grind the winches, or see what it’s like to cook and sleep in tiny spaces.
- All seven team compounds will be accessible to visitors. A chance to meet the world’s best sailors will happen in the Race Village.
- A working boatyard is on view to all visitors including a close-up view of the technical aspects of preparing the boats for the trans-Atlantic crossing.
- Kids and their families can explore historic Fort Adams, the country’s largest coastal fortification and it’s complex system of tunnels and artillery. Want to get the best view in Newport? Climb to the very top of the Fort and relax on the observation deck. Doesn’t get much better.
- There will be nautical merchandise, official gear and Newport mementos for sale.
- Intra-harbor water taxi service is quadrupled for the event period and available from several points in downtown Newport and Jamestown. Viewing the internationally known Newport Harbor is part of the experience.
- A cocktail café with beer, rum, champagne and wine will be located on the waterfront for mom and dad – it’s all here!
Photo credit: ©Marc Bow/Volvo Ocean Race