PxPixel
VOR Comes to Newport - Sail Magazine

VOR Comes to Newport

Author:
Publish date:
There will be plenty of inshore racing (left) on tap during the Newport stopover

There will be plenty of inshore racing (left) on tap during the Newport stopover

It was the evening of May 6, 2015, and the Volvo Ocean Race was coming to town—eventually. As the sun went down over a placid Atlantic, Chinese-flagged Dongfeng and eventual overall race winner Abu Dhabi were locked in battle, chasing zephyrs literally a stone’s throw away from one another as they fought for the Leg 6 win.

Meanwhile, out on Fort Adams, in Newport, Rhode Island, directly across from the finish out on Narragansett Bay, thousands waited. Darkness fell, and still, they waited—right up until Dongfeng crossed the line just three minutes ahead of its rival after 5,000 miles of racing from Itajaí, Brazil.

Not only that, but many in both the crowd on shore and in the spectator fleet out 0n the bay also stayed up right through until around 0330 when Team Alvimedica and its two young American co-captains, Mark Towill and Charlie Enright, arrived—a fitting start to what was in many ways the outstanding stopover of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, and which U.S. race fans are going to get the chance to do all over again later this month.

As in 2015, when an incredible 131,000 race fans came by, the Newport stopover will feature a series of different events all taking place between the time of the expected finish of Leg 8—which should be about 19 days after the April 22 start in Itajaí—and the May 20 start of Leg 9 across the Atlantic to Cardiff, Wales. Among them will be an in-port practice race, an in-port Pro-Am race, an M32 catamaran Pro-Am race, the official 2017-18 in-port race and the start of Leg 9 itself.

More than 131,000 people made the trip out to Fort Adams for the last VOR 

More than 131,000 people made the trip out to Fort Adams for the last VOR 

Of course, the nature of Narragansett Bay is such that viewing areas abound, both out on the water and up and down the shore, whether it be on the Newport side or on Jamestown Island. At press time, the exact inshore courses had not yet been made public, but it’s a safe bet that they will be much the same as last time around, with the start and finish directly off the Fort Adams “race village” and turning marks off either Castle Hill or the town of Jamestown. For details, visit.

As for the race itself, if you haven’t been paying attention to the 2017-18 VOR thus far, then sorry to say you’ve been missing out on not only one of the world’s great sailing events, but one of the great modern human endeavors, period. Once again, the competition has been marked by extraordinarily aggressive racing and the close finishes that have come to be part and parcel of this event. The overall leaderboard has also remained incredibly tight, with four of the seven teams still very much in the hunt for a win.

There’s also still plenty of racing to go, and what better way to get caught up again than by making the trip to Fort Adams and having a look at both the boats and crews in person?

Key Dates - 2018 Newport Stopover

May 8 — Race Village Opening Fort Adams State Park

May 12 — Public & Youth Sailing Begins & Exploration Zone Opens

May 15 — Team Sailing Practice Begins

May 16 — Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Practice Race

May 17 — Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Pro-Am Race

May 18 — M32 Pro-Am Race

May 19 — Newport In-Port Race

May 20 — Leg 9 Restart to Cardiff

May 2018 

Related

Josie-helm-2

Chartering the U.S. and Spanish Virgins

Flying into Tortola in the British Virgin Islands one December morning, three months after Hurricane Irma, I felt like a war correspondent dispatched to the battlefront rather than a sailing magazine writer on an assignment to go cruising.As my LIAT plane descended toward Beef ...read more

Crew-North-27M004

Weather Gear for Inshore Sailing

Just because you’re not planning on braving the Southern Ocean this summer doesn’t mean that you won’t have some dicey days out on the water. If you haven’t got the right gear, a little rain or humidity can make things miserable. As with all safety equipment, “it’s always better ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

3DiNordac_webheader

3Di NORDAC: One Year In

One year ago this month, North Sails launched a cruising revolution with the introduction of 3Di NORDAC. The product promised to deliver a better cruising experience for a market that had not seen true product innovation in over 60 years. Today we’re celebrating the team that ...read more

HB96k_EP

Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP

What SUP?Dinghies and kayaks are all very well, but there’s nothing like a stand-up paddleboard for exploring interesting new shorelines while giving you a good workout. Sea Eagle’s HB96 inflatable SUP makes a fine addition to your boat’s armory of anchorage toys, either on its ...read more

DSC_0031-43

Charting the USVI and Spanish Virgins

When my friends and I booked a one-way bareboat charter with Sail Caribe, starting in the U.S. Virgin Islands and finishing in Puerto Rico, we were a little nervous about what we would find in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria—even seven months later.When our plane ...read more

SailRepairKit

Know How: Sail Repair Kit

Despite your best efforts, there will inevitably be times when your sail gets damaged while at sea and needs to be repaired. First, no matter what the job, you will need to do a quick damage assessment, a task that requires a flat wooden surface, sharp scissors and a helping ...read more

01-061018ROAC-8149

Coming of Age at the Atlantic Cup

Midway through the final race of the inshore portion of the 2018 Atlantic Cup, the three boats in the lead—Mike Dreese’s Toothface 2, Mike Hennessy’s Dragon and Oakcliff Racing, representing the Long Island Sound-based sailing school of the same name—suddenly broke free from the ...read more

01_silken_2018-03-08-0052

North U’s Regatta Experience Program

“Want to check the keel?” North U Coach Geoff Becker calls to me from back by the transom. We’ve just suffered our worst finish in the regatta and are absolutely flying on our way back to shore, spinnaker up and heeling at an angle that feels like maybe we’re tempting fate. ...read more