NEWPORT, RI (March 3, 2016) – The Volvo Ocean Race has announced that the next stopover in Newport, RI, will take place May 8 -20, 2018. It was also announced that the boats will leave Newport for a first-time stopover in Cardiff, Wales.
The Newport, RI stopover in 2015 was a remarkable success as the race's only North American stop and the City-by-the-Sea was quickly reselected as a host port for the next edition. Key dates in 2018 include opening of the public race village on May 8. The boats are expected to arrive in Rhode Island between May 8 and 10. The in-port racing will take place May 17-19 and the leg departure to Cardiff is scheduled for May 20.
Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read, says "Newport hosted the most successful North American stopover in the race’s history and Rhode Island will be ready again with an enthusiastic family-friendly public festival and celebration in May of 2018.”
The 2,900-nautical mile transatlantic crossing is traditionally one of the global race’s biggest highlights and toughest tests for sailors in often challenging conditions. A sailor was lost overboard and a boat sunk in separate incidents during the Transatlantic crossing in 2006 on a leg from to New York to Portsmouth, England.
“We are thrilled that the race will connect Newport with another historic seaside community in Cardiff. The North Atlantic leg between our cities could break the 24-hour speed record in the fierce North Atlantic conditions,” Read adds.
Cardiff has been chosen as the destination for the first Volvo Ocean Race transatlantic leg to the United Kingdom in 12 years, when the world’s leading offshore race makes its debut visit to Wales in 2018.
At a press conference in Cardiff today, Adolfo Rodríguez from the Volvo Ocean Race joined Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart, and the City of Cardiff Council Leader, Cllr Phil Bale, to announce that Cardiff had been chosen as the transatlantic stopover, when the race will visit from May 25-June 10, 2018.
Other stopovers already announced for the 2017-18 edition include Alicante (Spain), Cape Town (South Africa), Auckland (New Zealand), Lisbon (Portugal) and Gothenburg (Sweden).
Antonio Bolaños López, acting CEO, Volvo Ocean Race, said: "The transatlantic race between Newport, RI and Cardiff promises to be one of the real highlights of the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.
"The event is returning to the United Kingdom for the first time in 12 years, but this is the first time our world-class fleet will have visited Wales, despite the country’s rich seafaring tradition.
"Cardiff’s harbour will make the perfect backdrop for our boats, which will follow after what we expect to be another highly successful stopover in Newport, RI"
Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart said: “It is excellent news that Wales has been chosen as the transatlantic stopover for this prestigious race. The Volvo Ocean Race is a truly global event and this stopover will be valuable in raising Wales’ profile on the world stage.
“Being a transatlantic stopover will give us added benefits of increased global media coverage and will be an excellent opportunity to look at key business opportunities in the U.S.”
"The Volvo Ocean Race’s arrival in Cardiff will mark another historic milestone in Wales’ rise as an outstanding destination for world class events."
Following a competitive bidding process in 2012, Cardiff, with the support of the Welsh Government, was awarded the right to host a stopover in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-I8. It will be the only race stopover in the UK.
Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez, Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018