After a highly successful Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover last week, the fleet is crossing the Atlantic headed to Portugal.
© Dan Nerney/Sail Newport/Volvo Ocean Race Newport
The final visitor count of approximately 125,000 at the Volvo Ocean Race Newport Stopover exceeded all expectations for the 12-day celebration. The turnout impressed even Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad. "I've been to an American stopover seven times now and can't recall anything as good as this. We waited 42 years to come to Newport and that was way too long," said Frostad.
The stopover was so successful that race officials have changed their normal protocol and offered the Newport organizers a two-month window to seal a deal as the next race’s only North American stopover in 2018.
Last weekend, the Spanish boat MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP) dominated the in-port race and also lead the fleet out of Narragansett Bay the next day. Highlights of the Newport In Port Race are available here.
Today, with 1800+nm to Lisbon, Portugal, MAPFRE still leads the fleet, but by less than half a mile.
The sailors are predicted to complete this leg between May 27 and 29.
After the Lisbon stopover, the boats will contest the final two legs of the race to Lorient, France, and from there to Gothenburg, Sweden, via a pit-stop in The Hague. The race concludes on June 27 (see route here).