Sail Newport and The Ocean Race have announced that for the third consecutive edition of the competition, The Ocean Race (formerly the Volvo Ocean Race) will make its only North American stopover in Newport, RI in the spring of 2022. The Newport stopover will be one of ten during the eight-month 38,000 nautical-mile race around the world, which begins in Alicante, Spain, in October, 2021 and finishes in Genoa, Italy in June, 2022.
For the first time, Newport will be hosting two fleets, the IMOCA 60s, foiling boats which push the limits of technology, as well as the one-design VO65 class, which produced the closest Volvo Ocean Race in history in the 2017-18 edition.
“This is the pinnacle event of the sport of ocean racing,” said Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport. “These athletes are spending 24 hours a day for weeks on end transiting oceans in storms and calms, and as a community we have the privilege of welcoming them to the only stop in North America. Our entire community will greet them as we have greeted seafarers for generations. We will welcome them and celebrate the human victory overcoming monumental challenge.”
According to Read, previous stopovers had a wide-ranging economic and tourism impact on the community. Organizers released a detailed economic impact report that showed that the 2015 stopover generated an estimated $47.7 million to the Ocean State’s economy. Both events were huge draws for visitors, with over 137,000 people in the Newport Race Village in 2015 and over 100,000 visitors in 2018.
“At Sail Newport, we have seen the desire of the Rhode Island community to pitch in and help,” said Read. “The most emotional part of this race is watching our community embrace the race, the sailors and the excitement of the Race Village. That’s what keeps us coming back to host this international race.” For more information, visit theoceanrace.com. ■