Back in 1972, 324 sailors set out for the very first Whitbread Round the World race without all the fancy gadgets that many rely on today. They didn’t realize at the time what they were getting themselves into. Three men lost their lives during that inaugural race, along with many other injuries throughout the 27,000 nautical mile race. Over the years, technology has made the epic voyage much safer for those participating.
This is the 12th edition of the race, and it has evolved from the Whitbread Round the World race into the Volvo Ocean Race we know today. The length of the race has expanded as well and will cover 38,739 nautical miles with stops in 11 different ports around the world. The sailors are currently on the sixth leg of the race, having left Itajai in South America on April 19th and should arrive in Newport, RI between May 5th – 9th. Although Rhode Island may be the smallest state in the US, it’s actually quite famous for being an international sailing community. If you love the open water as much as these sea-weary sailors, you should head into the port city of Newport for a sailing experience that visitors of all ages will enjoy.
On Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, the Race Village will open for people to watch the boats come in. On the 9th of May, the Exploration Zone will open with entertainment and family activities for the whole family at the Fort Adams State Park. On the 15th of May, come out to watch these expert sailors compete in the Pro-Am Racing or the In-Port Race on May 16th before they head out to Lisbon on the 17th of May.
In addition to the events planned specifically for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover here in Newport, there are quite a few different things you can do while you’re visiting this beautiful city on the water. You can get out on the water yourself and check out the beautiful classic yachts and sleek modern yachts moored in the Newport Harbor.
There is so much beauty in Newport that it’s often difficult to pick just a few things to do while in town for the race. You can take a stroll through Bellevue Avenue for a peek at the immaculate mansions that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. These massive homes were once considered the summer cottages of such well-known names as Astor and Vanderbilt. That alone should give you an idea of the spectacular residences you’ll encounter here.
After you’ve worked up an appetite strolling along Bellevue Avenue, you should stop into Bellevue One, the upscale restaurant located in the Hotel Viking. Here you’ll be able to experience some of the delicious seafood New England is famous for. Even the most discerning of palate will be left satisfied after a meal made with fresh from the land and sea ingredients.
This event in Newport is the only stopover in North America, so you should definitely make it a priority to come out for some fun on the water this May.
photo credit: Telefonica Boats via photopin (license)