The Volvo Ocean Race, the world’s longest professional sporting event and leading offshore boating competition, will be adding to Newport, Rhode Island's heritage as a great American sailing town when the event stops in New England on May 4-17. Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State and for more than 50 years Newport has been the home of the America's Cup. The city hosted a hugely successful stop on the America's Cup World Series in 2012, with 65,000 people visiting over the four-day racing period.
"I'm delighted that we are bringing the world's greatest offshore sailing event to one of the world's great sailing cities," Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad said. "It's about time this race came to the city of Newport and we are looking forward to a real festival that will delight and inspire sailing fans and those who are new to the sport."
The race, which began in the Spanish Port of Alicante on Oct. 11, 2014, will bring competitors to 11 countries on five continents during the 38,739 nautical-mile course. Each host port stages a festival lasting about two weeks, featuring free family entertainment and festivities. The Race Village in Newport opens on Cinco de Mayo, May 5 — with a party to welcome the boats to the only North American stopover, and the public is invited: come enjoy the Exploration Zone, a festival for all ages and many more family activities at Fort Adams State Park.
The Pro-Am Racing, In-Port Race and the seventh of nine total leg starts, (this one en route to Lisbon, Portugal) will be held within yards of the shoreline in the same natural stadium that hosted decades of America's Cup Racing, Narragansett Bay, starting on May 14. The In-Port race starts on the 16th with the actual leg beginning on the 17th.

This is the 12th edition of the 41-year-old event, one of the Big Three global sailing events along with the America’s Cup and the Olympics. A lot has changed over four-plus decades, but the essence of the race remains the same. It is a revered human challenge and a battle with nature. The winner receives no monetary reward; instead, like the Olympic medal, the Volvo Ocean Race trophy symbolizes the glory of winning what is still one of the most extreme challenges in the world of sport.
In this edition, seven teams are sailing across the equivalent of twice the circumference of the earth and battling it out for the extreme honor of being a Volvo Ocean Race winner. Team Alvimedica, a youth challenge group, and Team SCA, an all-female team, both have crewmembers from the United States. Aside from the sojourn in America, the route includes stopovers in South Africa, UAE, China, New Zealand, Brazil, Portugal and France. The course ends in Gothenburg, Sweden, home of the Volvo Group headquarters.
Built to withstand the toughest sailing conditions, the Volvo Ocean 65 is the vessel designed for this challenge. Seven identical boats, created by Farr Yacht Design in the U.S., were built in four different European countries, with 36,000 man-hours of working power invested into the construction of just one.
To see these amazing machines in action, follow Volvo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Download the Volvo Ocean Race app from the App Store or Google Play to virtually race one yourself!

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For more information on the Newport stopover, visit http://www.volvooceanrace.com