14-May-2015

Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover Offers Weekend Full Of Action And Attractions

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Photos: Dan Nerney/Sail Newport

NEWPORT, R.I. (May 14, 2015) - Team Alvimedica, Newport's "hometown" team in the Volvo Ocean Race, enjoyed a stellar performance today with wins in the Practice Race and first Pro-Am Race of the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover.

Four of Team Alvimedica's nine sailors have strong ties to Newport, including skipper Charlie Enright, who was born in Bristol, R.I., Nick Dana and Amory Ross, both Newporters, and Mark Towill, who calls Newport his adopted home.

Although the sweep of both races is not included in the crew's overall score, the wins are accomplishments as the youngest team in the race shows its skill and determination to make a podium finish at the end of the global marathon.

Approximately 68,000 visitors have entered the Race Village at Fort Adams State Park since it opened on May 5, making it equal in popularity to the highly successful America's Cup World Series of 2012 with three days to go.

The village is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m on Sunday - the final day of the event. The Exploration Zone, a marine interactive exhibit for all ages, is open at the same time. The Race Village and Exploration Zone offer free admission to all visitors.

Racing in the Volvo Ocean 65s is the main attraction this weekend as all of the on-the-water action takes place within yards of the shoreline of Fort Adams State Park. The final three days feature two more Pro-Am Races on Friday (scheduled for 1 p.m.), the Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race Newport on Saturday (scheduled for 2 p.m.) and the Leg 7 Start of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday (scheduled for 2 p.m.). The celebration begins at 12 noon with a parade, cultural demonstrations, music, performances, a dock-out ceremony and blessings of the fleet. Once the boats leave the dock, a parade of sail and in-shore course will showcase the fleet before its final departure for the transatlantic crossing and next stopover in Lisbon, Portugal.

Saturday's In-Port Race has an added attraction. Zdeno Chára, captain of the NHL's Boston Bruins, will sail as guest aboard overall race leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker. He will be ashore on Saturday at 11 a.m. to participate in an event with area youth and Race Village guests by the race boats' dock.

Shoreside activities will also include kids' pedal cars, games, bumper boats, a rock climbing wall and the VO65 cross section. The exhibition features life below deck of the ocean racer where visitors can crawl through the boat. The cross section has been one of the most popular attractions at the village.

Also, the Volvo Ocean Race Studio Show will be playing throughout weekend in the video dome. In addition, a jumbo screen broadcasts the on-the-water action with live coverage during racing.

Sponsor pavilions are open all weekend as are the food and beverage concessions including the Russell Morin Catering Café, Heineken Beer Garden, Mount Gay Rum Garden and Moët & Chandon Garden.

Parking is available at Fort Adams for $20 for the entire day. Shuttle busses run from parking areas to the Race Village entrance. An ADA bus will also be available for those with disabilities.

A local Volvo dealer, Viti Volo, will sponsor parking for those driving a Volvo to the event.

Visitors are also encouraged to take a water taxi from downtown Newport and from Jamestown. Bicycle racks are provided at the event as well.