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EXCLUSIVE: Volvo Ocean Race Is Targeting Return to Newport in 2018

Thursday, October 29, 2015

 

GoLocalProv has learned that the successful Volvo Ocean Race will return to Rhode Island to 2018, pending the execution of the long negotiated contract.

According to multiple sources involved in the effort to return the successful race to Newport, an announcement may be held as early as Friday of this week.

The race drove tens of millions into the Rhode Island economy. Efforts to reach Brad Read of Sail Newport, the local non-profit who hosted the event have been unsuccessful.

Before the Volvo Ocean Race left Newport for Lisbon, Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad shared with the media that the Newport stopover saw the most visitors (quadruple that of any previous North American Stopover) since the race started visiting North America in 1989-’90, and he noted the enthusiasm of local residents.

“I’ve been to an American stopover seven times now and can’t recall anything as good as this,” Frostad said of Newport last May. 

Frostad also said that although it took a while for the race to visit Newport, a key to returning would be a strong commitment from governing officials. Frostad noted that Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and RI Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed were committed to bringing the race back to the City-by-the-Sea. 

As GoLocal previously reported last June,“Hosting a stopover is a joint venture,” Frostad said in May. “We bring a show to the city and the city has to bring infrastructure and together we make the stopover. A good stopover has to do with enthusiasm and commitment from the government. It’s very much about the commitment of the government and the delivery partner, which in this case is Sail Newport. The local government, state government, governor and senator have all committed what they can to make the next stopover successful.”

The next race begins in 2017 thru 2018.

According to Volvo, "Every stopover will feature fantastic free entertainment: concerts, ceremonies, celebrity appearances, and activities within the Volvo Ocean Race Experience."

 

The 2015 sites were considered major successes, "One thing's for sure - fans visiting Alicante, Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, Itajaí, Newport, Lisbon, Lorient, The Hague and Gothenburg can look forward to something special. The Boatyard, the shared service centre for the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65, is a brand new feature that will let you see right inside the daily operations needed to keep these machines running."

Success Of Newport Stop over in 2015

More than 130,000 people visited the Race Village at Fort Adams State Park between May 5 - 17, 2015.

In comparison, 65,000 visited Newport for the 2012 America's Cup finals.

The large crowds during the 12 day event ranked Newport ahead of Abu Dhabi and on equal footing with Cape Town, even though Newport’s population is a fraction of those ports.

Read - the leader of the effort to bring the race to Newport was named "Seahorse Sailor Of The Month" for July by Seahorse Magazine for his leadership and the success of the Newport Stopover.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was originally published at 3:30 pm on October 28th.
 

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