Dongfeng Leading The Way To Newport Finish Of Leg 6

Photo: Sam Greenfield/Dongfeng Race Team The lead boats on Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race are nearly 1,000 nautical miles from the finish in Newport, R.I. Based on today's position report at 1840 GMT (2:40 p.m. EDT), Dongfeng Race Team currently holds the lead, 5 miles ahead of Team Brunel and about 400 miles northeast of the Dominican Republic. The top five boats are all within 20 miles of each other. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing holds 3rd, followed by Mapfre and Team Alvimedica, the "home team" led by Rhode Island skipper Charlie Enright and featuring four other sailors with strong ties to Newport. Team SCA, the women's team, is 6th, 59 miles off the lead. The latest position report indicates a 96-percent chance of the leader finishing on Thursday, two days after the opening ceremony of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Race Village. The ceremony is scheduled Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. Dignitaries expected to attend include R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo, Congressman David N. Ciccillini, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, R.I. Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit, Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad and Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read (subject to change). The 12-day public celebration will feature racing off the shore of Fort Adams (May 14-17), a marine Exploration Zone, concerts and other entertainment, sponsor pavilions, family games, a "Life at the Extreme" theater, team compounds, try sailing, kids activities, concerts and a working boatyard. The race boats will be docked at Fort Adams for public viewing. The Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover is scheduled May 5-17 and is the only North American stopover in the race. There are nine American sailors in the race, including Team Alvimedica's Charlie Enright, from Bristol, R.I., is the youngest skipper in the race at 30 years of age, Nick Dana and Amory Ross (the boat captain and onboard reporter, respectively, for Team Alvimedica), Sam Greenfield (onboard reporter for Dongfeng Race Team), Corinna Halloran (onboard reporter for Team SCA). South Dakotan Sarah Hastreiter (crew Team SCA) and Hawaiian Mark Towill (co-founder and watch captain of Team Alvimedica) and both call Newport their adopted home. Other Americans in the race include Sally Barkow (Waukesha, Wis.), a helmsperson for Team SCA, and Matt Knighton (Chicago, Il.), the onboard reporter for overall race leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. A 10th sailor, Sophie Ciszek of Team SCA, holds dual Australian and American citizenship. The Race Village is open daily and admission is free to all ages. Parking at Fort Adams State Park is free through May 8. There is a $10 parking fee May 9-13 and a $20 fee May 14-17. The stopover is hosted by Sail Newport, Rhode Island's public sailing center, with support from the State of Rhode Island, the Department of Environmental Management, the City of Newport and Discover Newport. Port sponsors include Sweden-based SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest-products company, and 11th Hour Racing, which seeks to create systemic change for the improved health of our oceans. Other sponsors include Heineken, Cox, Sunsail, Metlife, Mt. Gay Rum, Bell Helicopter, Castle Hill Inn, National Biodiesel Board, Moet & Chandon, M32 North America, Marriott Newport, Hotel Viking, The Newport Harbor Hotel and Marina and Hyatt Regency. Media sponsors include Channel 10/WJAR TV, The Newport Daily News, Coast 93.3/iHeart Radio and Sailing World. In addition, Viti Volvo, Newport Restaurant Group, Lila Delman Real Estate, Sea Corp., Rhode Island Bay Cruises, Gustave White, The Hinckley Company, Team Alvimedica, Focal and Dimeo Construction also sponsor the Newport Stopover.